Francisco Liriano limited the Cubs to two hits over seven innings as the Pirates beat the Cubs Friday afternoon, 2-0. The Pirates shut out the Cubs -- stop me if you've heard that one before.
Liriano walked five batters, so the Cubs had plenty of baserunners, but Liriano limited the damage by striking out eight and never allowing a hit. That Liriano picked off Alfonso Soriano in the second after allowing him to reach on an error also helped -- Liriano walked two batters later that inning, but the Cubs still couldn't score. The Cubs also put two men on in the fourth, but Liriano whiffed Welington Castillo and got Starlin Castro to line out to end it. They had two on in the fifth, too, but Liriano struck out Anthony Rizzo for the third out.
The Pirates broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning, when Jordy Mercer doubled, Gaby Sanchez walked and Russell Martin doubled to the left-field corner. They added an insurance run in the ninth, as Martin walked, Pedro Alvarez singled and Travis Snider hit an RBI groundout. Jason Grilli put two runners on in the ninth, but struck out Darwin Barney to end it.