(Sports Network) - Dominican right-hander Francisco Liriano makes his first
appearance with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon when the
Pittsburgh Pirates visit Citi Field for game three of a four-game weekend
series with the New York Mets.
A 14-game winner with the Minnesota Twins in 2010, Liriano has struggled with
injury and ineffectiveness since, while winning just 15 more games in 60
combined outings with the Twins and Chicago White Sox, to whom he was traded
He became a Pirate in February when he signed a two-year contract that could
be worth as much as $9 million if he reaches certain incentives for number of
days spent on the disabled list.
He was shelved for the beginning of the season on March 22, when the Pirates
put him on the 15-day disabled list to treat a fractured right forearm.
Liriano has made three starts this spring at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he
was 2-0 with a 3.38 earned run average in 16 innings.
He has never faced the Mets.
The Mets go with lefty Jonathon Niese, who'll try to end a four-start skid
since his last victory.
The Ohio native, who won 13 times last season, opened 2013 with two wins and a
no-decision in three starts, but has since gone 0-3 in four outings while his
ERA climbed from 3.57 to 4.66.
He was beaten, 9-4, at Atlanta in his most recent start on May 5, when he
allowed seven runs in four innings while striking out three and walking six.
He's 2-0 in three lifetime starts against Pittsburgh.
On Friday, Garrett Jones hit a three-run homer to help the Pirates defeat the
Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte had an RBI apiece for the Pirates, who evened
the series after dropping Thursday's opener.
Pittsburgh starter Wandy Rodriguez (3-2) was effective, limiting the Mets to
just one run on six hits over six frames. He also contributed with the bat,
driving in one run in the victory. Jason Grilli got the final out of the game
to notch his 14th save.
Shaun Marcum (0-3) got the start for the Mets and gave up six runs on nine
hits in 4 2/3 innings. Anthony Recker, Jordany Valdespin and Andrew Brown each
drove in one run in the setback.
"I felt good, but I'm just not making pitches. When you leave balls up in the
zone they're going to get hit," Marcum said.
New York won five of its seven matchups with the Pirates last season.
The Sports Network