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Article updated: 9/15/2013 4:22 PM

Morneau's single leads Pittsburgh over Cubs 3-2

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (22) scores the go-ahead run as Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo looks for the throw in the eighth inning of the baseball game on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Pittsburgh. The Pirates won 3-2.

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (22) scores the go-ahead run as Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo looks for the throw in the eighth inning of the baseball game on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Pittsburgh. The Pirates won 3-2.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Francisco Liriano took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before faltering in his first no-decision this season, and pinch-hitter Justin Morneau singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth Sunday to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cubs 3-2.

Pittsburgh, which began the day tied with St. Louis for the NL Central lead, took three of four from the last-place Cubs and won for the sixth time in seven games.

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Morneau, acquired from Minnesota on Aug. 31, drove in his first run for the Pirates. The 2006 AL MVP is batting .279 (12 for 43) with Pittsburgh.

With the score 2-2 in the eighth, Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch from Pedro Strop (2-2), took second on Marlon Byrd's bloop single to center and scored on Morneau's single.

Kyle Farnsworth (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Mark Melancon completed a three-hitter with a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.

Liriano didn't allowed a hit until Junior Lake singled into the hole between third base and shortstop leading off the seventh. Shortstop Jordy Mercer made a diving effort and stopped the ball on the outfield grass, but Lake easily beat the throw.

Welington Castillo followed with a tying, two-run homer into the bleachers in left-center. Castillo's seventh homer of the season stopped Liriano's streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings at PNC Park.

Liriano allowed two runs, three hits and four walks in six-plus innings. At 16-7, he became the first Pirates pitcher with a decision in his first 23 starts since Larry French opened with 24 in a row in 1930, according to STATS.

Cubs starter Travis Wood gave up two runs, five hits and two walks in six innings.

Jose Tabata led off the first inning with a triple and scored on a wild pitch, and Tony Sanchez doubled the lead when he homered in the fourth.

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