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Monday's scouting report: Cardinals at Pirates

| Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, 4:30 p.m.

• Francisco Liriano is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his career against the Cardinals. While Liriano struggled in his last start, and he is 0-1 against the Cardinals in two starts this season, he has been much better in the second half as he has been healthy for the first time this season. Liriano's fastball touched 96 mph against the Braves in his last start, his top velocity for the season. Liriano hasn't faced the Cardinals since May.

• The Cardinals acquired John Lackey prior to the trade deadline and he is mostly an unknown to the Pirates as he has spent nearly his entire career in the American League. Russell Martin is the only Pirates' regular to have faced Lackey.

The Buzz

Martin was in the starting lineup Sunday, which is typically an off day for him. With another Thursday off-day, Hurdle said he will again plan to give Martin a day off Wednesday to couple it with the off day Thursday. “It gives him a nice time of recovery. ... We'll be stretching him out to some degree,” Hurdle said.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at tsawchik@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

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