After Francisco Liriano set the stage with a near history-making performance, pinch-hitter Justin Morneau delivered an eighth-inning RBI single, lifting the Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Cubs on Sunday in front of a crowd of 36,559 at PNC Park, the 20th sellout of the season setting a club record.
With one out in the eighth, Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch and Marlon Byrd singled. Morneau singled to left off Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, plating McCutchen and breaking the 2-2 tie.
It was Morneau's first RBI since he was acquired from the Twins on Aug. 31. He and fellow newcomer Byrd -- who was acquired from the Mets on Aug. 27 and hit the decisive homer in Saturday night's win over the Cubs -- have sparked the Bucs.
"They've impacted the club, they've impacted the lineup and everything we're doing," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We had a good team coming in to that point when the deals were made, and we just made a good team stronger."
"I think that's the key to winning teams," Morneau said. "It seems like it's somebody different every day, and obviously starting pitching is the first thing, and those guys have given us a chance pretty much every night. You like to be able to come through for those guys when they throw the ball so well. It's unfortunate Liriano doesn't get the win, but the team gets the win, and that's the most important thing, and it's fun to be a part of that."