Pirates 3, Cubs 2: Justin Morneau's run-scoring single in the eighth inning - his first RBI as a Pirate - broke a tie and helped host Pittsburgh stay on top in the National League Central.
Morneau's opposite-field hit to left came against Pedro Strop (2-2) and drove in Andrew McCutchen, who was hit by a pitch with one out. The Pirates, whose magic number to clinch their first postseason berth was reduced to six, took a half-game lead over St. Louis in the Central.
Kyle Farnsworth (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth to earn his first victory in a Pittsburgh uniform while Mark Melancon worked a perfect ninth to earn his 16th save in 18 opportunities. Rookie Tony Sanchez homered for the Pirates, who have won six of their last seven games.
Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Junior Lake singled to lead off the frame and Welington Castillo followed with a two-run homer. The left-hander, who was 8-1 with a 1.20 ERA in his first nine home starts, yielded three hits and four walks while striking out four in six-plus innings.
Jose Tabata led off the first with a triple and scored on wild pitch, but Pittsburgh squandered a chance for a big inning when it didn't score more after putting runners on first and third and none out. Sanchez began the fourth when he drove a 1-1 pitch the opposite way over the wall in right-center for his second home run.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Liriano (16-7) earned his first no-decision - the longest stretch to start a season by a Pirate since Larry French went 24 starts in 1930. ... Liriano was bidding to become the first Pittsburgh pitcher since John Smiley went 20-8 in 1991 to record more than 16 victories. ... The Pirates continue their 11-game homestand with the first of four against San Diego on Monday while the Cubs travel to Milwaukee to begin a four-game series.