>>Arrieta Dazzles Once Again, Cubs Win Again
Jake Arrieta dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates yet again, scattering two hits in seven shutout innings as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 on Tuesday night.
Seven months after shutting the Pirates down in the NL wild card playoff, Arrieta allowed only singles to Sean Rodriguez in the second and Francisco Cervelli in the seventh. Arrieta (6-0) struck out five and walked two while lowering his ERA to 0.84. He became the second six-game winner in the major leagues after Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.
Kris Bryant had three hits for the Cubs, who have won seven of eight and moved five games ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
Jon Niese (3-1) gave up six runs and nine hits over five innings while losing for the first time since the Pirates acquired him from the New York Mets in an offseason trade.
Chicago will look for the sweep when Jon Lester (2-1, 1.83) faces Pittsburgh's Juan Nicasio (3-2, 3.33.) Lester is 2-2 with a 1.86 ERA in four starts against the Pirates. Nicasio is coming off seven shutout innings against Cincinnati last Friday.
>>Quintana Brilliant As Sox Get Past Red Sox
Jose Quintana pitched eight crisp innings for his third straight win, and the AL-leading Chicago White Sox cooled off the Boston Red Sox with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday night.
Jose Abreu had two hits and three RBIs as Chicago ran its record to 19-8 with its third straight win. It has won nine of 11 overall to keep up with the major league-leading Cubs, revving up the anticipation for an intriguing summer in the Windy City.
Hanley Ramirez's one-out homer in the fifth halted Quintana's scoreless streak at 20 1/3 innings, but the left-hander bounced back by retiring Travis Shaw and Chris Young on a pair of grounders.
Quintana (4-1) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none while lowering his ERA to 1.40. David Robertson finished for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Clay Buchholz (0-3, 6.51 ERA) tries for his first win of the season on Wednesday night, and Chicago sends LHP Carlos Rodon (1-3, 4.33 ERA) to the mound.
>>Nola Brilliant As Phillies Blank Cardinals
St. Louis-native Ryan Howard homered and Aaron Nola threw seven innings to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Philadelphia has won seven of eight while St. Louis has lost five of six.
Howard, a St. Louis native, has 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 36 games in Busch Stadium.
Nola (2-2) allowed two hits and struck out seven in a career-high 111-pitch stint. He has a string of 20 consecutive scoreless innings dating to April 22. Nola, who retired the last 10 batters, has given up one run or fewer in four of six starts this season.
Wacha gave up one run and five hits in eight innings. He struck out eight and walked three.
Jeanmar Gomez picked up his ninth save in as many opportunities. Hector Neris struck out the side in the eighth.
The Cardinals threatened in the first inning. Matt Carpenter led off with a double, but Nola retired the next three hitters in order.
Adam Morgan (0-0, 5.40) will make his second start of the season in the third game of the four-game series on Wednesday.
Mike Leake (0-3, 5.83) will start for the Cardinals.