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Francisco Liriano leads Pirates to easy 5-0 win

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Brian Kersey

Francisco Liriano struck out nine batters and the Pirates' bullpen completed the last three innings of a shutout as the Bucs took care of business against the Cubs in the late game Saturday, 5-0.

In the first, Starling Marte hit a ground-ball single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and came home on Jordy Mercer's single. The Pirates added a second run in the third inning, as Andrew McCutchen singled, Neil Walker doubled and Gaby Sanchez brought home McCutchen on a groundout.

Meanwhile, Liriano cruised through inning after inning, getting one strikeout after another with his slider. He did walk two batters in the fourth, but he otherwise encountered little trouble.

The Pirates then added one run each in the seventh, eighth and ninth, never putting together a big inning but gradually distancing themselves from the Cubs without encountering much pressure.

So no issues here, just the Bucs winning games you'd like to see them take against a worse team. The Brewers' free fall continues, so the Pirates are now a half game behind the Brewers and Braves for the last Wild Card spot.