Mt. Vernon Register-News

Sports

May 23, 2013

Liriano dominates as Pirates edge Cubs 1-0

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Francisco Liriano continued his torrid start, scattering two hits over seven innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Wednesday night.

Liriano (3-0) struck out nine and walked just one to remain unbeaten since making his season debut against the New York Mets two weeks ago. Mark Melancon survived a bumpy ninth inning for his first save of the season.

Andrew McCutchen doubled twice for the Pirates and scored the game's only run on an RBI single by Garrett Jones in the first. Pittsburgh has won 10 of 12 to move 10 games over .500 (28-18).

Chicago's Jeff Samardzija (2-6) nearly matched Liriano pitch for pitch, giving up just three hits in seven innings, but received no help. The Cubs have dropped four of five.

The Pirates agreed to terms with the former All-Star in December, but Liriano signed a more incentive-laden deal after breaking his right (non-throwing) arm in a freak accident on Christmas Day.

It's certainly looking like a bargain now. The left-hander has spent most of the five seasons attempting to regain the form he showed as a 22-year-old phenom with the Minnesota Twins in 2006, when he went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA and made the All-Star team on his way to finishing third in American League Rookie of the Year voting.

His path to stardom was sidetracked by Tommy John surgery in 2007, though he appears to have found a home in Pittsburgh.

Mixing his offspeed stuff with a rejuvenated fastball refined by a tweak to his delivery, Liriano has joined A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez in giving the Pirates a respectable top of the rotation.

He was solid in his first two starts in wins over the Mets and Milwaukee. He was spectacular at times against the Cubs. He retired 14 of 15 batters at one point and managed to expertly wiggle out of the lone spot of trouble in the third when the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs following a Cody Ransom single, a walk and an error.

Text Only
Sports
  • Woodlawn-Odin softball Woodlawn tops Odin

    The Lady Cardinals used late offense to put Tuesday's softball matchup with Odin out of reach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV-Breese Central girls soccer Breese Central drops Mt. Vernon

    A trio of first-half goals were enough for Breese Central to top the Lady Rams soccer team 3-1 Monday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Claire Ryan signing Lady Rams guard signs with Welch

    Claire Ryan has functioned like a coach on the basketball court the past several seasons for the Lady Rams.

    Ryan, who has been the team's point guard the past two years, signed with Welch College in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV-Carbondale baseball Rams rally for win

    The Rams baseball team scored a pair of late runs to beat Carbondale 6-5 Thursday.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV-Carbondale softball Lady Rams fall to Lady Terriers

    The Lady Rams softball team knocked out several hits but could never string together a solid rally in a 9-0 loss to Carbondale on Thursday.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mt. Vernon boys track Rams win quad meet

    Robert Grider etched his name in the Rams track and field record book Wednesday.

    The senior sprinter broke the 200 meter school record and tied the 100 meter mark in Mt. Vernon's win over Marion, Salem and Carbondale.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mt. Vernon-Marion baseball Marion shuts down Mt. Vernon

    Chandler Ream foiled the Rams offense all game Tuesday.

    Ream threw a one-hitter against Mt. Vernon, and Marion emerged with a 1-0 win in both teams South Seven Conference opener.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shakari Hawkins Hawkins headed to RLC

    The Rams top scorer from this season is headed to Rend Lake College.

    Shakari Hawkins signed with the college on Tuesday afternoon.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hines Sight: Cardinals reap rewards

    Are there any St. Louis Cardinals fans who still miss Albert Pujols?

    Three years ago the beloved slugger spurned St. Louis and packed his bags for the sun-soaked west coast. He cashed in and spent the last two seasons playing in Los Angeles. He's struggled to regain his overpowering offensive form while his former club hasn't stopped making all the right personnel moves.

    April 7, 2014

  • MTV-DuQuoin baseball Rams knock off DuQuoin

    The middle of the Mt. Vernon batting order mashed the ball, and Brock Fulkerson silenced the Indians bats in an 8-3 Rams road win Friday.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

Tom Lindley Sports