Liriano strikes out six in four scoreless innings as Pirates tie Red Sox 2-2

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BRADENTON, Florida — Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano and Boston's Wade Miley tossed several scoreless innings apiece Saturday before bowing out in a game that ended in a 2-2 tie.

Liriano, who was named the Pirates' opening day starter, struck out six and scattered two hits and three walks over four innings. He threw 81 pitches and blamed the short outing on "trying to overthrow, trying to be nasty."

Six Pirates pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Miley struck out five, walked two and allowed two hits in five scoreless innings.

The Pirates' Starling Marte continued to surge with two hits, including a double. He is 10 for 18 since moving to center field ON March 14 when Andrew McCutchen was scratched with an undisclosed lower body injury.

"It's been fun to watch," manager Clint Hurdle said. "But he's going to have to go back to left field."

Boston's Rusney Castillo tripled off the right-field wall in the fifth inning and scored the first run of the game two batters later on a single by Allen Craig.

Corey Hart tied the score with a grounder up the middle in the sixth. Shortstop Deven Marrero ranged left to field the ball and threw it past first baseman Daniel Nava, scoring Marte, who had singled and stolen second.

The Pirates' Gorkys Hernandez tripled with one out in the seventh inning and came home on Gustavo Nunez's bunt.

Trailing 2-1 in the ninth inning, Boston speedster Quintin Berry reached base on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Blake Tekotte's two-out single to right field off Stolmy Pimentel.

STARTING TIME:

Red Sox: Miley didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning — a strong bounce-back outing after surrendering four runs in three innings against Philadelphia last Sunday.

Pirates: Pittsburgh debuted its all-Francisco battery, with Liriano throwing to catcher Francisco Cervelli. "Everyone calls him Frankie, too," Liriano said. "Sometimes I look, sometimes he looks. We'll get used to it." Liriano threw 81 pitches, his highest count of spring training.

TRAINER'S ROOM:

There is no timetable for McCutchen's return. He has just 12 at-bats this spring. He has been working out with the team daily and will do a baserunning progression Sunday.

UP NEXT:

Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright is expected to start at home Sunday against Philadelphia's Jerome Williams. RHP Joe Kelly was in line to start but was scratched for precautionary reasons.

Pirates: RHP Charlie Morton is the planned starter against Houston's Robert Hernandez Sunday in Kissimmee. Morton has allowed one run in five innings but has not appeared in a game in 11 days.

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