Pirates GM Neal Huntington has hit big on his free agent signing of Francisco Liriano (8-3, 2.20 ERA).
Liriano pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game in more than two years, and the Pittsburgh Pirates (53-32) won for the 11th time in 13 games, beating the Chicago Cubs 6-2 on Friday afternoon.
Pittsburgh improved to 53-32 on the season.
“This is an exclamation point to what he’s been doing, to finish that game off today. In command throughout,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Liriano was an All-Star as a rookie in 2006 and he’s pitching like one again seven years later, though he’s unlikely to be named to the All-Star team with so many others candidates, including Jeff Locke, Pedro Alvarez, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and Andrew McCutchen.
Liriano struck out seven and walked four to improve 5-1 in his last six starts while tossing the first complete game by a Pittsburgh pitcher this season. He also had an RBI single in the win.
Lirano threw 111 pitches, 72 for strikes. He is now 8-3 with a 2.20 ERA.
Few could have envisioned Liriano pitching like he has this season as Huntington has significantly upgraded the roster this season with two additions, Liriano and Russell Martin.