CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta carried his masterful pitching over to the postseason by tossing a four-hit shutout as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 Wednesday night in the National League wild-card game.

The right-hander struck out 11 and walked none in his first career playoff start, needing 113 pitches to finish his gem.

Arrieta went 12-1 with a 0.75 ERA in 15 starts following the All-Star break as he finished the regular season leading the major leagues in wins with a 22-6 record. He also pitched 22 scoreless innings while winning his final three regular-season starts.

The Cubs move on to face the Cardinals in the best-of-five NL Division Series, which begins Friday night at St. Louis. Chicago has won nine games in a row, including the regular season, and allowed just nine runs in that span.

The Pirates were shut out in the wild-card game for the second year in a row despite having the second-best record in the major leagues during the regular season at 98-64. The Cardinals (100-62) had the best record, and the Cubs (97-65) were third best. All are members of the NL Central.

The top two hitters in the Cubs’ batting order, center fielder Dexter Fowler and rookie right fielder Kyle Schwarber, combined to go 5-for-7 with four runs and four RBIs while each hitting a home run.

Fowler, who went 3-for-4, became the first Cubs player to have at least three runs and three hits while hitting a home run and stealing a base in a postseason game. Schwarber went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

Pirates ace right-hander Gerrit Cole took the loss after going 19-8 in the regular season, including winning his last three starts. He allowed all four runs and six hits in five innings with one walk and four strikeouts.

Pirates utility player Sean Rodriguez was ejected following a benches-clearing incident in the seventh inning.

The dugouts and bullpens emptied when Arrieta, who was working on a two-hit shutout, was hit on the right hip by a pitch from left-hander reliever Tony Watson.

Arrieta hit catcher Francisco Cervelli and third baseman Josh Harrison with pitchers earlier in the game.

The Pirates were still angry about losing rookie infielder Jung Ho Kang for the season in a Sept. 17 game against the Cubs when outfielder Chris Coghlan slid into him at second base while trying to break up a double play. Kang sustained a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and a broken left tibia.

Rodriguez started the game at first base instead of Pedro Alvarez as Pirates manager Clint Hurdle wanted to field his best defensive lineup. Alvarez, though, pinch-hit for Rodriguez in the third inning after Pittsburgh fell behind 3-0 and stayed it the game at first.

The Pirates’ best scoring chance came in the sixth inning when, down 4-0, they loaded the bases with one out after rookie shortstop Addison Russell booted center fielder Andrew McCutchen’s potential double-play grounder for an error.

However, Arrieta escaped the jam by getting left fielder Starling Marte to hit the ball to Russell, who, this time, successfully started an inning-ending double play.

The Cubs jumped on Cole for a quick first-inning run. Fowler led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Schwarber’s single.

Schwarber then hit a mammoth two-run in the third inning that cleared the right field stands and increased the Cubs’ lead to 3-0 The one-out drive, estimated at 449 feet, came after a single by Fowler.

Fowler added to the lead when he hit a one-out solo home run to right-center field in the fifth inning.

Meanwhile, Arrieta set down 10 hitters in a row between allowing a two-out single to McCutchen in the first inning and hitting catcher Francisco Cervelli with a pitch to lead off the fifth.

NOTES: Pirates INF/OF Sean Rodriguez started at first base despite making just 10 starts at the position during the regular season. 1B Pedro Alvarez began the game on the bench. He had a team-high 27 home runs but also led all major league first baseman with 23 errors and was 2-for-17 in his career against Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta. … Chicago manager Joe Maddon also looked to optimize his defense by starting INF Tommy La Stella at third base, moving rookie 3B Kris Bryant to left field and shifting rookie LF Kyle Schwarber to right field. Bryant and Schwarber started just twice at those positions in the regular season. … Pirates rookie INF Jung Ho Kang Jung Ho Kang joined the team for pregame introductions. He underwent season-ending surgery Sept. 17 to repair a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and broken left tibia.