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Clint Hurdle says Francisco Liriano available for relief in Game 5

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

For the Pirates it's all hands on deck for Game 5, including Francisco Liriano. (USATSI)
For the Pirates it's all hands on deck for Game 5, including Francisco Liriano. (USATSI)

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Pirates ace lefty Francisco Liriano was the starter in Pittsburgh's Game 3 victory over the Cardinals, and it's possible he'll see action in Game 5 on Wednesday night in St. Louis. Here's the relevant part of the transcript from Clint Hurdle's pre-game press conference:

Q. Is it all hand's on deck tonight from a pitching standpoint?

CLINT HURDLE: What does that mean?

Q. Everybody available?

CLINT HURDLE: Morton's not available.

Q. Liriano?

CLINT HURDLE: Liriano could be available. And A.J., in his routine, I mean, one of the reasons we didn't pitch him here because some of the challenges, but he goes through an extensive routine to get ready. If we're going to put Liriano in play, which we've decided if we have to, we will. We're holding A.J. back for Game 1. Everybody else will be available.

So almost every Pittsburgh hurler is on call for Game 5. That includes Liriano, who's pitched to a 3.02 ERA (117 ERA+), 1.22 WHIP and 2.69 K/BB ratio this season and who's looked strong in a pair of 2013 playoff starts.

Liriano has been a primary starter his entire career, but he's also made 27 relief appearances. He'd be particularly valuable against a left-handed hitter like, say, Matt Carpenter or Matt Adams, as Liriano has limited same-side hitters to a .557 OPS over his career.

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