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MLB roundup: Facing Francisco no treat for Cubs

White Sox unable to finish series sweep of Red Sox

Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija allowed just one run Wednesday night in Pittsburgh but was outdueled by Francisco Liriano in a 1-0 Pirates victory.

Francisco Liriano continued his torrid start since coming off the DL for the Pirates, scattering two hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Liriano (3-0) struck out nine and walked just one to remain unbeaten since making his season debut against the New York Mets 2 weeks ago.

The Cubs made Mark Melancon work for the save. Alfonso Soriano reached on strikeout-wild pitch, and Wellington Castillo singled with one out. But Nate Schierholtz and Darwin Barney both lofted weak fly balls to shallow right field that Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker corralled with ease.

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.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 2: Clay Buchholz pitched five-hit ball over seven innings to improve to 7-0, and Boston avoided a three-game sweep in Chicago.

David Ortiz delivered a two-run single in the first off Hector Santiago (1-3), and the Red Sox backed Buchholz with several neat defensive plays on the way to their sixth win in eight games.

Jonny Gomes made a sliding catch on Paul Konerko's line drive to left with two on to end the first. Jacoby Ellsbury raced to the center-field warning track to snag Alexei Ramirez's liner with a runner on and two out in the fifth to preserve a 2-1 lead.

Alex Rios tied the game 1-1 with an RBI groundout in the third inning, and Konerko homered in the bottom of the ninth.


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