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Cubs continue dominance over Pirates with 9-4 win

The Cubs pounded Francisco Liriano for three homers in 4 2/3 innings to beat the ‪Pirates‬ 9-4.

Both offenses recorded 11 hits apiece, but the three Cubs homers were the difference. With the loss, the Pirates are only two games above .500 and eight games back of the division-leading Cubs in the NL Central.

Francisco Liriano pitched three scoreless to open the game before giving up home runs to Addison Russell, Kris Bryant and David Ross in the fourth and fifth. Those three blasts accounted for eight of the nine runs the Cubs scored.

Liriano was pulled after 4.2 innings, surrendering nine hits and striking out seven batters, while walking.

Ryan Vogelsong, Jared Hughes and Arquimedes Caminero each pitched in relief of Liriano and limited the Cubs to one run.

The Pirates scored their first run off a passed ball in the top of the sixth inning, with Francisco Cervelli batting. Starling Marte stole his tenth base of the season on the play while Gregory Polanco scored from third. Cervelli drove Marte in later in the at-bat to make the score 8-2 Chicago.

Andrew McCutchen led the Pirates with three hits in five at-bats, including a two-run shot to center field in the ninth inning. He also hit a double in the third inning off of starter Jason Hammel.

Gregory Polanco and Marte also recorded multi-hit games.

ON DECK
The Pirates will play the Cubs at 2:20 Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Left-hander Jeff Locke will start for the Pirates in the second of this three-game series on Saturday at 2:20 p.m. ET. Locke is 1-2 with a 5.83 ERA in nine career starts against the Cubs. Jake Arrieta takes the hill for the Cubs.

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