Arrieta strikes out 10 for Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies' Cesar Hernandez follows through on a three-run single off Pittsburgh Pirates' Jameson Taillon during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 19, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jake Arrieta flashed the All-Star form that made Philadelphia covet the free-agent ace, striking out 10 and tossing one-hit ball over seven innings to lead the Phillies to a 7-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

Rhys Hoskins homered and Cesar Hernandez had a three-run single to pace the Phillies in their first game back from a 4-2 trip.

The Phillies got vintage Arrieta (2-0) in his best outing since he left the Chicago Cubs for a $75 million, three-year contract that made him the immediate ace of the rotation.

He had his 14th career double-digit strikeout game and walked two.

Arrieta struck out seven through the first four innings — he had struck out only six over 10 2/3 innings in his first two starts. He wore short sleeves on a night when temperatures dipped into the 30s. The postseason flags whipping in the wind were about the only things with more movement than Arrieta’s fastball.

The Pirates, who lead the Central, are one of the surprise teams in the National League. Against their longtime nemesis, forget it. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner improved to 11-6 in 21 career starts against Pittsburgh. He struck out 11 and tossed a four-hit shutout against the Pirates in the 2015 NL Wild Card game that included a bench-clearing melee.

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