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MLB briefs: Liriano lifts Pirates past Cubs

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Friday, July 5, 2013 - 10:21 pm

Pittsburgh 6, Cubs 2

CHICAGO — Francisco Liriano pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game in more than two years, and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the 11th time in 13 games, beating the Chicago Cubs 6-2 on Friday.

Liriano (8-3) went the distance for the first time since he tossed a no-hitter for Minnesota against the White Sox on May 3, 2011. He struck out seven and walked four to improve 5-1 in his last six starts. He also had an RBI single.

The Pirates, meanwhile, continue to roll along. They came in with the best record in the majors and a two-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central, and they had little trouble with Jeff Samardzija (5-8) and the Cubs.

Starling Marte had three hits, scored two runs and stole two bases for the Pirates.

Seattle 4, Cincinnati 2

CINCINNATI — Aaron Harang pitched six innings in the ballpark where he still holds the strikeout record, and Nick Franklin and Michael Saunders homered on Friday night, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Harang (4-7) limited his former team to a pair of runs and six hits, including Joey Votto's 15th homer. Oliver Perez struck out the side in the ninth for his second save.

Franklin hit a two-run homer off Mike Leake (7-4), who had his start pushed back one day by a rainout. Saunders had a solo homer and a sacrifice fly off Leake, who lasted five innings.

The Mariners are making their second visit to Cincinnati and their first to Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003. In their other trip, they swept a three-game series at Cinergy Field in 2002. The Mariners are 9-1 all-time against the Reds.

Seattle and Cincinnati will always have one notable baseball connection: Ken Griffey Jr., who grew up in Cincinnati, developed into one of the majors' best with Seattle, and returned to his hometown in a trade before the 2000 season. Griffey finished his career in 2010, when he retired from the Mariners.

Harang pitched for the Reds from 2003-10, starting five season openers. He holds the record for most career strikeouts at Great American Ball Park with 598, including his four on Friday night.

It was the first time the 35-year-old pitcher had pitched at Great American since he left the Reds as a free agent.

Detroit 7, Cleveland 0

CLEVELAND — Rick Porcello pitched seven sharp innings, Jhonny Peralta drove in two runs and the Detroit Tigers beat Cleveland for the sixth consecutive time, winning 7-0 on Friday night to extend their lead in the AL Central over the second-place Indians.

Porcello (5-6) allowed five hits and was never really threatened until Carlos Santana flied out to the warning track in center field to end the sixth. The right-hander set the tone for the Tigers, who dominated the opener of the four-game wraparound series.

With their fourth straight win, Detroit moved 21/2 games ahead of Cleveland, which returned from an 11-game road trip to just its second sellout crowd at Progressive Field this season.

Ramon Santiago had a two-run single in the second inning off Justin Masterson (10-7), and Victor Martinez added two RBIs and three hits for Detroit