The Times West Virginian

Sports

May 12, 2013

Liriano fans nine as Pirates top Mets

Mercer, Tabata lead Bucs’ offense

NEW YORK — Francisco Liriano finally got to pitch for Pittsburgh and, just like that, the Pirates looked like a much better team.

He struck out nine and the Pirates teed off on New York’s pitching for an 11-2 win over the Mets on Saturday.

“He’s pitched before and he’s been good,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Good to have him in the fold now, for me it’s — three left-handers in the rotation, I like that a lot. Especially in the division we’re in, the way we match up against the teams.”

Jordy Mercer homered twice and Jose Tabata had four hits, including a two-run shot for the Pirates.

The Mets have struggled to score at home, but the start by Jonathon Niese (2-4) would have put any team in a hole. He tied a career high by allowing eight runs, and walked more batters than he struck out for the fourth time in eight starts this season.  

Liriano (1-0), returning from a broken non-throwing arm, allowed one run in 5 1-3 innings and 90 pitches. He gave up six hits and two walks.

“Today went good. Really good location and just using a lot today,” Liriano said. “It was a little weird, nervous. But that went away and it just feels good to get the first one out of the way.”

After a late-spring injury to Jeff Karstens and the release of Jonathan Sanchez, the Pirates needed the help in their rotation. Now they can line up Liriano after fellow lefties Jeff Locke and Wandy Rodriguez.

“Three left-handers in the rotation, I like that a lot,” Hurdle said. “You can probably count the teams on one hand that have really good offensive splits more so against left-handed pitchers than against right-handed pitching.”

The Pirates jumped on Niese early, and finally drove him out of the game in the fifth.

Mercer hit a solo shot after third baseman David Wright made a nifty barehanded play to throw out Starling Marte, and Tabata hit an RBI double off the base of the wall in center field.

Michael McKenry followed with a two-run single off reliever Scott Atchison and Clint Barmes followed with an RBI single before Liriano popped foul to end the inning.

Liriano agreed to a contract with Pittsburgh in the offseason, but broke his right arm on Dec. 25, the day before he was supposed to fly to Pittsburgh and sign a $12.75 million, two-year contract. Liriano, who said he was injured when he slapped a door in his house, signed a revised offer and prepared for a delayed start to the season.

And Liriano delivered. He set the first seven batters down in order, and the Mets didn’t get anyone to third base until the sixth inning, when Justin Turner singled with Wright on first and one out. Marlon Byrd hit a tough dribbler down the third base line that Brandon Inge charged, but he mishandled the transfer to his throwing hand on a play that was ruled a single.

The Mets put two runners on in the fourth inning after Byrd’s two-out single. But Liriano struck out Andrew Brown. He fanned Daniel Murphy to end the fifth after Tejada’s double.

Barmes hit an RBI single in the second inning and Tabata hit a two-run homer in the third, after McCutchen’s RBI single.

The game was delayed 47 minutes by rain in the middle of the ninth. When play resumed, Brown led off with a solo home run off left-hander Tony Watson. The ball went deep to left, where both of Mercer’s home runs landed.

“For our guys to swing the bats today the way they did in a big ballpark, I think that was a feel good for the offensive side of our game,” Hurdle said.

In the bottom of the seventh, reliever Bryan Morris hit pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin with his first pitch. The night before, Valdespin hit a long home run and took plenty of time time admiring its trajectory.

When he returned to the dugout after the inning, he threw his helmet in the corner and tore off his batting gloves while no one acknowledged him. Over on the Pittsburgh side, Morris received fist bumps from manager Clint Hurdle and many of his teammates.

Through Mets team spokesman Jay Horwitz, Valdespin said the issue was closed and that he wasn’t going to talk about it.

Niese gave up eight hits and three walks with a strikeout before leaving with one out in the fifth. He also allowed eight runs July 27 at Arizona last season.

“It’s a tough time to go through this and I know the bullpen needs their rest. It’s very frustrating not being able to go into the seventh inning, but, hopefully, it’s something I’m going to work on and get it corrected,” Niese said. “I think I created a bad habit of dropping down lower and kind of opening everything up. So, it’s something I’m going to work on in the bullpen.”

NOTES: Saturday was Banner Day at Citi Field. Fans trooped Mets-themed banners around the warning track before the game, in the second year of revived tradition that had gone from 1963-1996. ... The Pirates have homered in 12 of their last 13 games and 19 of 22. ... New York has scored 31 runs in its last 12 home games. The 11 they allowed were a season worst at home. ... Pittsburgh right-hander Jeanmar Gomez (2-0) is expected to make his third start of the season in the finale of the four-game series on Sunday. He’ll face Mets rookie RHP Matt Harvey (4-0). ... Tabata singled in the seventh for the third four-hit game of his career.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • EFHS #11 PITCH -TS.jpg Bolander no-hits FSHS in 1-0 win: PHOTOS

    Jacob Bolander is known affectionately by his East Fairmont teammates as “BoBo.” After his performance Thursday, the Bee baseball team might have to change that nickname to “No-No.”
    The right-handed ace tossed a no-hitter against No. 3 Fairmont Senior in a 1-0 win over the cross-town rival at Mary Lou Retton Park.

    April 25, 2014 8 Photos

  • m #14- W #91, 44 sack-ts.jpg White tops Maroon in spring game: PHOTOS

    As spring games go Thursday night's annual Maroon and White clash at Fairmont State's Duvall-Rosier went pretty much to form.
    The White (defense), using a modified scoring system which awarded them points for stops, turnovers, three-and-out series and other things, recorded a 34-21 victory over the Maroon (offense).

    April 25, 2014 7 Photos

  • FSHS girls’ lacrosse wins on Cancer Awareness Night

    “Ring around the rosey, a pocket full of posies. Ashes to ashes, we all fall DOWN.” 
    With that last word, “down” filling the air around East-West Stadium Thursday night, Fairmont Senior put a new play into motion and scored one of its 17 goals on the night in a 17-2 win over visiting Wheeling Park.

    April 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU depth chart sends messages

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about the depth chart West Virginia University put out at the end of spring practice was that the coaches were able to put out a depth chart, which certainly is an improvement over a year ago when the Mountaineers were really short on quality players.

    April 25, 2014

  • WVU baseball hosts K-State in Big 12 clash

    The West Virginia University baseball team will host Kansas State in a key Big 12 Conference series thisweekend at Hawley Field.
     Game one begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the first pitch for game three is set for noon on Sunday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Pirates’ slide continues in 2-1 loss to Cincinnati

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are five games under .500 less than a month into the season but they insist there is no reason to panic.
    Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two Cincinnati batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the Pirates 2-1 on Thursday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Morgan Hoke -ts.jpg Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS

    Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
    Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
    Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.

    April 24, 2014 8 Photos

  • Falcons set for spring game

    Football is back … well, kind of.
    Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Hillberry commits to Wesleyan

    Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
    Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.

    April 24, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos