Francisco Liriano Pitches Seven Scoreless to Stop Pirates’ Slide

Francisco Liriano was at his wildest, but the left-hander battled through jams with strikeouts and flyouts to pitch the Pirates to a 2-0 win Friday afternoon in Chicago.

Francisco Liriano Pitching

Francisco Liriano was strong again for his fourth victory. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The left-hander struck out eight hitters and allowed only two hits en route to the second seven-inning shutout of the Cubs in the last month. Despite giving up five walks and throwing a season-low 56% strikes, Liriano kept a zero on Wrigley Field’s scoreboard and lowered his season ERA to 1.75.

Russell Martin drove in the game’s first run in the 6th inning. After Jordy Mercer hit a double into left and moved to third base on a flyout, Martin stepped up with two outs and pounded a first-pitch slider into the left-field corner to bring him home. In the 9th, Martin drew a leadoff walk, then next batter Pedro Alvarez lined a single to right to move him to third base. After Neil Walker struck out, Travis Snider grounded to third but beat out a possible inning-ending double play and score Martin.

Other than Mercer and Martin unearthing two hits each, the Pirates continued to toil in the batting mines for most of the game, digging up only seven total hits. Some credit must go to starting pitcher Travis Wood, who gave up one run in six innings of work. Wood allowed four hits and two walks, but struck out six Pirates hitters and broke up Liriano’s no-hit bid in the 5th inning with a sharp single to left.

More on Liriano

Liriano’s seven scoreless innings were not without trouble. With two outs in the second, Liriano walked back-to-back hitters before getting Ryan Sweeney to fly out. In the 4th, he walked leadoff hitter Anthony Rizzo, then left a fastball over the plate that Alfonso Soriano crushed to dead-center before the ball fell into McCutchen’s glove on the warning track. After walking the next batter, Liriano struck out Welington Castillo and got Starlin Castro to line out. His fifth free pass was in the 5th inning, walking Cody Ransom on four pitches after Wood’s single. He then pumped three straight strikes past a frozen Rizzo to escape unharmed.

Cubs batters whiffed on 13 of Liriano’s pitches, but he mostly nibbled along the bottom edge of the zone for called strikes and weak contact. He now has earned 47 strikeouts over 36 innings this season.

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless 8th inning with two strikeouts and Jason Grilli struck out the side in the 9th, despite giving up two singles, to stop the Pirates’ three-game losing streak.

The Pirates collected their 10th shutout of the season on June 7, which is the earliest point in franchise history (dating back to 1916) a Pittsburgh team has gotten double-digit shutouts.

Share This Article

James Santelli

James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person. Google

Pirates Lose Another Extra-Inning Game in Atlanta

Next Story »

Pirates’ Bats Jump on Samardzija to Support Burnett in 6-2 Victory

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.brooks.581 Stephen Brooks

    Where would this team be without its two key free agent signings?

    The hitting is abysmal across the board. Too many K’s, and not enough walks and XBH to make up for them.

Latest Analysis

  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    8 hours ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Jameson Taillon

    The Next Steps in Jameson Taillon’s Tommy John Rehab Process

    1 day ago

    Jameson Taillon threw a bullpen session yesterday, which I outlined in the daily recap. Taillon is still in “rehab mode” as Clint Hurdle put it, which means ...

    Read More
  • Sean Rodriguez

    The Keys to Sean Rodriguez Being a Productive Hitter

    2 days ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates added Sean Rodriguez at a high cost this off-season. They traded promising pitching prospect Buddy Borden to the Rays, getting Rodriguez in return after ...

    Read More
  • Elias Diaz taking batting practice.

    How Elias Diaz Quickly Became the Catcher of the Future

    3 days ago

    Elias Diaz has always been well-regarded for his defense. Baseball America named him the best defensive catcher in the Florida State League in 2013, and the best defensive ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Is Vance Worley the Most Under-Rated Pitcher in the Pirates’ Rotation?

    3 days ago

    For the second year in a row, Vance Worley enters Spring Training trying to compete for one of the final spots in the rotation. This time around, ...

    Read More
  • Corey Hart

    Corey Hart Discusses His Knees, Last Year’s Hitting, and Joining the Pirates

    4 days ago

    Up until a few years ago, Corey Hart was a dangerous hitter. From 2010-2012 he had a .279/.343/.514 line, averaging 29 home runs per season. To put ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More

    Advertisement