Cutch, Harrison back Liriano with fine defense

Cutch, Harrison back Liriano with fine defense

ST. LOUIS -- Francisco Liriano's no-hit bid Saturday during the Pirates' 2-1 loss to the Cardinals lasted into the sixth inning because of a pair of sparkling defensive plays behind him.

The Pirates lefty surrendered a sixth-inning leadoff single to Peter Bourjos -- the first hit he had allowed since a one-out single in the second inning of his last start, in which he went 6 1/3 innings.

But Liriano's bid for his second career no-no was prolonged twice earlier in the game.

First, center fielder Andrew McCutchen dashed in to snare Kolten Wong's sinking liner to lead off the third inning. McCutchen, whose availability for Saturday's game was uncertain after he had jammed his tender left knee on a slide into second Friday night, then reversed course to run down a fly to the wall by the next batter, Bourjos.

With one out in the fourth, Matt Holliday drilled a grounder between short and third snared on a dive by third baseman Josh Harrison, whose throw to first kept Liriano's bid alive.

Harrison's diving stop

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.