Arizona Diamondbacks (21-25) at Pittsburgh Pirates (24-19)
Tuesday, May 24 - 7:05 PM EST
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Pittsburgh Pirates could use a lengthy outing from left-hander Francisco Liriano when they wrap up a 10-game homestand with the first of three contests against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. The Pirates secured a series win over Colorado with a 6-3 victory on Monday in a makeup of Sunday's postponement.
Pittsburgh's bullpen was taxed for seven innings Monday after starter Ryan Vogelsong was hit in the face by a pitch and sustained an injury to his eye and the orbital bone surrounding it. The Pirates are 5-2 on the homestand and took two of three at Arizona last month, although their pitching staff was ravaged for 24 runs in the series. The Diamondbacks continue to produce at the plate, rolling up 39 runs during a 4-2 stretch, and are coming off their first series win in St. Louis since April 2003. Right-hander Shelby Miller, who has won once in nine starts this season, will oppose Liriano in the series opener.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, ROOT (Pittsburgh)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Shelby Miller (1-5, 6.64 ERA) vs. Pirates LH Francisco Liriano (3-3, 4.63)
Miller has pitched six full innings on only two occasions, including his only victory when he limited the Atlanta Braves to two runs on four hits on May 7. The 25-year-old Miller has lost his last two turns, allowing three runs on 5 2/3 innings in each one while yielding a combined 17 hits. Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 7-for-22 lifetime against Miller, who owns a 2-6 record with a 4.29 ERA in nine starts versus Pittsburgh.
Liriano has dropped two straight starts even though he turned in a strong performance last time out against Atlanta, taking the loss despite seven innings of two-run ball. The 32-year-old Dominican was pelted for eight runs over 4 2/3 innings at the Chicago Cubs in his previous turn, which followed back-to-back wins in which he yielded a total of three runs. Liriano is 1-0 with a 3.73 ERA versus the Diamondbacks after taking a no-decision last month.
1. Diamondbacks RHP Brad Ziegler has converted 36 straight save chances dating to last year.
2. Pirates 2B Josh Harrison, who had two hits and two RBIs Monday, was 5-for-10 at Arizona last month.
3. Diamondbacks CF Michael Bourn went 5-for-10 in the last two games at St. Louis.
PREDICTION: PIrates 5, Diamondbacks 4