• 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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