Liriano toes rubber for Pirates in New York

Dominican right-hander Francisco Liriano makes his first appearance with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon when the Pittsburgh Pirates visit Citi Field for game three of a four-game weekend series with the New York Mets.

A 14-game winner with the Minnesota Twins in 2010, Liriano has struggled with injury and ineffectiveness since, while winning just 15 more games in 60 combined outings with the Twins and Chicago White Sox, to whom he was traded last summer.

He became a Pirate in February when he signed a two-year contract that could be worth as much as $9 million if he reaches certain incentives for number of days spent on the disabled list.

He was shelved for the beginning of the season on March 22, when the Pirates put him on the 15-day disabled list to treat a fractured right forearm.

Liriano has made three starts this spring at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he was 2-0 with a 3.38 earned run average in 16 innings.

He has never faced the Mets.

The Mets go with lefty Jonathon Niese, who'll try to end a four-start skid since his last victory.

The Ohio native, who won 13 times last season, opened 2013 with two wins and a no-decision in three starts, but has since gone 0-3 in four outings while his ERA climbed from 3.57 to 4.66.

He was beaten, 9-4, at Atlanta in his most recent start on May 5, when he allowed seven runs in four innings while striking out three and walking six.

He's 2-0 in three lifetime starts against Pittsburgh.

On Friday, Garrett Jones hit a three-run homer to help the Pirates defeat the Mets, 7-3.

Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte had an RBI apiece for the Pirates, who evened the series after dropping Thursday's opener.

Pittsburgh starter Wandy Rodriguez (3-2) was effective, limiting the Mets to just one run on six hits over six frames. He also contributed with the bat, driving in one run in the victory. Jason Grilli got the final out of the game to notch his 14th save.

Shaun Marcum (0-3) got the start for the Mets and gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Anthony Recker, Jordany Valdespin and Andrew Brown each drove in one run in the setback.

"I felt good, but I'm just not making pitches. When you leave balls up in the zone they're going to get hit," Marcum said.

New York won five of its seven matchups with the Pirates last season.