First-place Pirates slide past Cubs

First-place Pirates slide past Cubs
July 5, 2013, 5:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

Dale Sveum said Pittsburgh has a chance to turn every game into a five-inning contest with its elite bullpen.

Friday, they didn't even need to dip into the relief corps.

After surrendering a two-run homer to Scott Hairston in the second inning, Francisco Liriano shut the Cubs down the rest of the way, improving to 8-3 on the year after a 6-2 Pirates victory in front of 38,615 at Wrigley Field.

Liriano has the Cubs' number this season. The Hairston homer resulted in the first runs he has allowed to Chicago this season, but still picked up his third win in three tries. The 29-year-old lefty has allowed just eight hits in 23 innings against the Cubs this season, six of which have been singles.

Catcher Dioner Navarro (two singles) and Starlin Castro (a two-out double in the eighth) collected the only other Cubs hits on the afternoon.

Jeff Samardzija did not have his ace stuff, allowing five runs on nine hits, five walks and a hit batter. He battled through six innings, but wound up with his eighth loss of the season.