(SportsNetwork.com) - Back from the paternity list, Francisco Liriano tries for his first win of the season on Wednesday when the Pittsburgh Pirates close out their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park.
Liriano pitched well in his Opening Day start versus the Cincinnati Reds, as he allowed a pair of runs and two hits over seven innings. He also struck out seven batters, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 5-2 loss.
The 31-year-old lefty then had his second start scratched after the birth of his daughter. The Pirates, though, didn't mind, as Casey Sadler stepped in threw a gem to beat the Milwaukee Brewers.
Now Liriano faces a team in the Tigers that has given him fits. In fact his 5.82 ERA against them is his highest against any opponent he has faced 10-plus times.
Detroit, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Alfredo Simon, who was working on a gem against the Cleveland Indians until running into trouble in the sixth inning. The Big Pasta cruised through the first five innings virtually unscathed, but ran into trouble in the sixth, serving up five straight hits and three runs before exiting with one out in the frame.
Simon did get the win, however, and ended with a line of seven hits, three runs, two walks and three strikeouts over 5 1/3 frames.
He is 3-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 18 meetings with the Pirates, more games than he has against any other opponent.
Detroit received another strong showing from Shane Greene on Tuesday, as the 26-year-old right-hander threw eight more shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Pirates.
Acquired in December from the New York Yankees, Greene (2-0) gave up three hits, no walks and struck out three over his eight frames, retiring the final 10 batters he faced to outduel veteran A.J. Burnett.
He threw eight spectacular innings in his Tigers debut last Thursday, allowing four hits and striking out five while throwing 65 of his 85 pitches for strikes in a 7-1 win over Minnesota.
"Greene pitched outstanding and Soria was able to close it out," said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus. "It was a tough battle. ... A.J. Burnett pitched great and their bullpen came in and did a nice job. We basically scraped out two runs."
The Pirates won the opener of the three-game series 5-4 on Monday to hand Detroit its first loss of the season.
Burnett (0-1) was good, too, pitching a shutout into the seventh inning before Pittsburgh scored its first run. The 38-year-old righty had eight strikeouts, giving up one run, seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 frames.
He allowed six base runners -- five on singles -- before issuing the first two walks of the game to Alex Avila and Jose Iglesias with one out in the seventh.
Pittsburgh split four games with the Tigers last season.
As has been tradition each April 15 since 2009, Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing No. 42 during that day's games, including the Civil Rights Game at Dodger Stadium.