Can Francisco Liriano Help Pittsburgh Pirates Take Series From Milwaukee Brewers?

By Michael Terrill
Francisco Liriano
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Starting pitcher Francisco Liriano dominated in his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 11. The Pirates will now look to the left-hander to help the team take the series from the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday night, something Pittsburgh does not get a chance to do very often against their division rival.

Liriano suffered an injury to his right arm before Spring Training, which forced the Pirates to place him on the 15-day disabled list. The left-hander made great strides in his rehabilitation process over the past few weeks prior to his 2013 Major League Baseball debut.

The 29-year-old allowed just one earned run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a win against the New York Mets. He also managed to strike out nine batters and only walk two in the 11-2 victory.

Liriano is hoping to carry over that success when he takes the mound against the Brewers. Pittsburgh has won the last two games, and a third straight victory would build plenty of momentum for their weekend series against the Houston Astros.

The Pirates are hopeful that the seven-year veteran will be able to remain healthy enough for the rest of the season to have an above .500 record. Liriano has not won more decisions than he lost in the same season since 2010, when he posted a career-high 14 wins in 24 decisions with the Minnesota Twins.

All signs point to Liriano having success against the struggling Brewers, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games. In fact, Milwaukee dropped to last place in the National League Central division with their loss Wednesday night.

The only known concern Liriano must watch out for is Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez. The 27-year-old is 5-for-8 with two home runs against Liriano in his career. Not to mention, he is batting .365 with six homers and 18 RBI this season.

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