(Sports Network) - Francisco Liriano gave the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation a
boost in his 2013 debut last weekend. On Thursday he tries to hurl his new
club to a series victory in the finale of a four-game series with the rival
Signed as a free agent in February, Liriano was not able to make his debut
with Pittsburgh until last Saturday as he was recovering from a broken right
arm suffered in December. He was worth the wait, holding the New York Mets to
a run on six hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings while striking out nine in
a 11-2 victory.
"I tried not to get too excited," Liriano said. "I didn't want to try to do
The 29-year-old lefty has faced the Brewers eight times in his career, all but
one of those starts, and is 4-2 against them with a 3.76 earned run average.
Getting the call for the Brewers will be 25-year-old Hiram Burgos, who looks
to rebound off of what he called "the worst outing of my career."
Burgos has allowed just six runs while going 1-0 over his first three starts,
but was hammered for 12 runs -- 10 earned -- on 11 hits and three walks in
just three innings of a 13-7 setback to Cincinnati last Saturday. His ERA
jumped from 3.00 to 6.86.
The right-hander was pitching for the first time in 10 days, a no-decision
versus Pittsburgh in which he allowed a pair of solo homers to Pedro Alvarez
and Michael McKenry in seven innings of work. Burgos also fanned a season-best
The Brewers have won just twice in 13 games this month, taking the opener of
this series on Monday before consecutive setbacks. They are still 10-3 in the
last 13 meetings in this series, but are in danger of losing a series to
Pittsburgh for the first time since June 1-3 of last year.
The Pirates won a 3-1 contest on Wednesday in a pitcher's duel between
Pittsburgh's Wandy Rodriguez and Yovani Gallardo of Milwaukee. Rodriguez
picked up the win, striking out five and yielding just one run on a solo
homer by Rickie Weeks in the seventh inning. That home run came after
Pittsburgh had plated a pair of runs in the sixth to snap a scoreless
"He battled from start to finish," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of
Rodriguez. "The only tarnish mark was the first-pitch change-up to Weeks. It's
the start we needed. He pitched a little bit better than their guy."
Gallardo had allowed just a single and two walks in his first five innings of
work before allowing a leadoff double to Starling Marte in the sixth. Andrew
McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez later worked one-out walks to load the bases and
Neil Walker lined a hit to center to plate two runs.
That was enough to get Pittsburgh its fifth victory in six games and leave
Milwaukee looking for answers.
"When Wandy got in trouble, we didn't do the job offensively," Milwaukee
outfielder Carlos Gomez said. "He gave the break where we can change the game,
and we didn't do it."
The Brewers are 1-5 on a 10-game road trip that ends this weekend in St.
Louis, while the Pirates are set to play the second leg of a 10-game homestand
on Friday versus Houston.
The Sports Network