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Scouting Saturday's Pirates-Giants game

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

• Francisco Liriano is mostly an unknown to the Giants, who have combined for just a .257 average in 35 at bats against the Pirates' left-hander. But according to Fangraphs.com, the Giants have three hitters who rank among the top 20 in baseball in success against sliders — Buster Posey, Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence — and the slider is Liriano's best pitch. Posey, Scutaro and Pence are also right-handed hitters.

• Pirates first baseman Garret Jones will be happy to see Tim Lincecum on the mound Saturday. Jones has a career 1.000 OPS and two home runs in 15 career at bats against Linecum, who hasn't been his Cy Young self since losing velocity over the last several seasons.

• The Pirates are expected to decide Sunday on plans for their rotation for the upcoming week. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle indicated rookie Gerrit Cole could have a start skipped as the club plans to manage his workload.

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