Liriano, Snider lift Pirates to a victory over Dodgers at PNC Park
Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano is not all the way back. Not yet.
But he looks to be getting there.
On Wednesday, despite a shaky start, Liriano was dominant at times in a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Pirates (54-47) moved to a season-best seven-games over .500. By beating Los Angeles in five of seven games this year, the Pirates notched their first winning season against the Dodgers since going 5-4 in 2000.
In seven innings, Liriano (2-7) allowed one run on four hits, walked two and struck out four. In one stretch, Liriano retired nine in a row. It was his longest outing since April 21, when he worked seven-plus innings but was the victim of a blown save.
“I'm not at the point where I want to be yet, but everything's getting better,” Liriano said. “Everything is moving forward and coming together.”
It was his first win at PNC Park since Aug. 30, 2013.
The low point of the season for Liriano was May 25, when he fell to 0-5 with a 5.06 ERA after a loss to the Washington Nationals. He made three more starts, including a victory at the Dodgers on May 30, before going on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.
Since coming off the DL, Liriano has made three starts — taking a win, a loss and a no-decision — and has shaved his ERA to 4.18.
“I see confidence building,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “The overall command is tightening up. The first time back (off the DL), it was 94 pitches in four innings. Now it's 96 in seven. He's getting some ground balls. The rhythm and the pace are better. The slider and changeup are shaping up better. I think he's heading in the right direction.”
The 27-minute first inning tested the patience of both teams' pitching coaches.
Liriano issued back-to-back walks to Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez, then fell behind 2-1 against Scott Van Slyke. Liriano regrouped to strike out Van Slyke and got Juan Uribe to fly out.
Total pitches: 22, including 11 balls.
Dodgers right-hander Haren had a rough first inning. The Pirates sent nine to the plate and scored four runs on three hits and three walks.
With the bases loaded and one out, Russell Martin drew a full-count walk to bring in Gregory Polanco. Ike Davis' sacrifice fly scored Travis Snider. Josh Harrison ripped a two-run double.
Total pitches: 24, including 13 balls.
“They came out really aggressive, swung at three of the first four pitches and put me in a hole,” Haren said. “It was a mess the first inning, regardless of how the rest of the game went. Do that in the first, most times it's not going to work.”
Liriano needed only 13 pitches to get through the third inning and breezed through the fourth with seven pitches. He did not allow a hit until Miguel Rojas doubled with one out in the fifth.
“For a hitter, (Liriano) is a tough guy to face,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He's all over the place, basically. You know he doesn't really throw strikes, then he throws enough. His off-speed pitch is really what he throws for strikes. You have to be patient.”
Haren (8-8) gave up another run in the second inning. Travis Snider, who started in left field in place of Starling Marte (concussion), jumped on a first-pitch cutter and mashed a titanic solo home run to right field.
Snider finished 2 for 3 with three runs scored.
“Snider has worked extremely hard, preparing himself for the next opportunity to come his way,” Hurdle said. “This very well could be it for a time.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- Pennsylvania welfare employees targeted in crackdown
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers
- Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
- Butler organization seeks answers for unexplained phenomena
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Patience serves as virtue amid pitching prospect Glasnow’s quest for majors