Liriano outduels Samardzija as Pirates blank Cubs 1-0
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com May 22, 2013 9:13PM
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Updated: May 22, 2013 9:17PM
PITTSBURGH – For the first time in three games, the Cubs didn’t get a pair of RBIs from their starting pitcher. And that turned out to be the difference as Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano stymied the Cubs for seven innings in a 1-0 Pirates victory Wednesday night at PNC Park.
Liriano (3-0) outdueled Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija, allowing just two hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings, retiring 16 of the final 18 batters he faced.
It was the Cubs’ fourth loss in five games – all one-run losses.
The Cubs’ only threat against Liriano came in the third when the Cubs loaded the bases with none out on a single by Cody Ransom, walk to Darwin Barney and a throwing error by Liriano on a bunt by Samardzija.
But Liriano got Julio Borbon to ground to first baseman Garrett Jones, who threw home for the force, then struck out Starln Castro and got Anthony Rizzo to fly to right.
The Cubs put two runners on with one out in the ninth, but pinch-hitter Ryan Sweeney lined softly to second, and Darwin Barney hit a low pop to second to end it.
Samardzija allowed just three hits in seven strong innings, striking out eight with just one walk.
A two-out double by Andrew McCutchen in the first inning led to the only run in the game when Jones followed with a run-scoring single to right.