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Morneau's single the difference for Pirates in 3-2 win

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Joe Sargent

Justin Morneau singled home the game-winning run in the eighth as the Pirates beat the Cubs Sunday afternoon, 3-2.

The Bucs got out to an early lead against Travis Wood. Jose Tabata led off with a triple in the first, then came home on Wood's wild pitch. The, in the fourth, Tony Sanchez led off with a homer.

Meanwhile, Francisco Liriano avoided any serious trouble, taking a no-hitter through six innings despite struggling with his control. (He had four walks, including a leadoff walk to Wood in the sixth.)

In the seventh, Junior Lake led off with a single to Jordy Mercer to break up the no-hitter. That makes it sound like a cheap hit, but it wasn't -- Mercer had a hard time getting to it, and didn't have a play at first. Against the following batter, Welington Castillo, Liriano grooved a fastball for a two-run homer, tying the game.

After Liriano gave up a third straight hit, this time to Darnell McDonald, Clint Hurdle pulled him, and the Shark Tank took over. The Pirates went to Bryan Morris, then Kyle Farnsworth, which, um, okay, it worked. Then, in the eighth, Pedro Stop hit Andrew McCutchen, who moved to second on Marlon Byrd's single and came home on Morneau's hit to left. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for the save.