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Pirates 1, Cubs 0 (10 innings)

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH --- Second baseman Neil Walker led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a home run to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the season opener for both teams Monday.

Walker hit a full-count pitch from Carlos Villanueva over the 21-foot wall in right field at PNC Park for the first walk-off of his career. It was the first walk-off win in a home opener for the Pirates since Bob Bailey homered in the 10th inning off the San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer Juan Marichal in 1965 at Forbes Field.

The loss spoiled the major league managerial debut of Rick Renteria.

Left-hander Francisco Liriano and four relievers combined on a six-hit shutout. Right-hander Bryan Morris pitched the 10th for the win.

Liriano pitched six scoreless innings and tied a franchise Opening Day record with 10 strikeouts. Bob Veale set the mark in 1965 and it was matched by John Candelaria in 1983 and A.J. Burnett last year.

Liriano scattered four hits and three walks while holding the Cubs hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Cubs put runners on first and second with no outs in both the fifth and sixth failed but Liriano closed the door each time to keep the game scoreless.

Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija was not quite as dominant but just as effective, blanking the Pirates for seven innings. He allowed five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Only once did either team get a runner to third base but Cubs center fielder Emilio Bonifacio was thrown out by Walker while trying to score on shortstop Starling Castro's grounder.

Renteria said before the game that he slept so well during the night before his debut that he needed a wakeup call Monday morning at the team hotel.

"I feel good," Renteria said. "I feel calm, I don't know why but I do. For me, it's another baseball game."

The game also included the first-ever replay challenge, which occurred in the fifth inning.

Samardzija bunted with runners on first and second and no outs. Liriano fielded the ball and quickly threw to third base for a force out then third baseman Pedro Alvarez completed the double play by throwing Samardzija out by a step.

The umpires contacted the instant replay center at Major League Baseball Advanced Media's headquarters in New York. Following a short delay, home plate umpire and crew chief John Hirschbeck ruled that Samardzija was out.

NOTES: All-time home run leader Barry Bonds presented Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen with his 2013 National League Most Valuable Player award in a pre-game ceremony. Bonds received a mixed reaction from the crowd of 39,833, the largest for a regular-season game in PNC Park's 14-year history. Bonds won the first two of his record seven MVP awards with the Pirates in 1990 and 1992. ... 1B Travis Ishikawa, who made the team in spring training as a non-roster player, started in place of 1B Gaby Sanchez as manager Clint Hurdle wanted an extra left-handed hitter in the lineup against Cubs RHP Jeff Samardzija. ... Following an off day Tuesday, the three-game series resumes Wednesday night with Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson facing Pirates RHP Charlie Morton.
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