Final: Pirates 1, Cubs 0 (box)
Francisco Liriano isn’t known to be the most efficient of pitchers, but that’s exactly what he was tonight. The lefty, in his third start of the year, tossed seven shutout innings while giving up just two hits. He struck out nine and walked one on 91 pitches in his longest outing since starting the season on the disabled list.
The Pirates lone run came in the first inning when Garrett Jones hit a line drive single to plate Andrew McCutchen, who finished the night 2 for 4 with two doubles. That Jones single and McCutchen’s two doubles were the only three hits the Pirates managed in the ball game.
Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Mark Melancon picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth. Melancon served as the team’s closer for the day as Jason Grilli was unavailable after throwing 35 pitches last night.