Major League Baseball
Pittsburgh at San Francisco
When: 10:15 PM ET, Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

The Pittsburgh Pirates are making a charge up the National League standings and a return to form by Francisco Liriano would go a long way toward their goal of reaching the postseason for a second straight year. Liriano, who won 16 games in 2013 to lead the Pirates to their first playoff berth in 21 years, has only two wins this season entering Tuesday's start at the San Francisco Giants. The Pirates have won seven of 10 to close within two games of Central-leading Milwaukee.

The Giants are careening in the opposite direction, having lost five straight to drop two games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. Monday's 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh was the second shutout in five games for San Francisco, which has been outscored 24-5 during the five-game skid. Hunter Spence is mired in a 2-for-20 slump, catcher Buster Posey has two hits in his last 17 at-bats and Brandon Crawford and Tyler Colvin are each in 3-for-17 ruts.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network, ROOT (Pittsburgh), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates LH Francisco Liriano (2-7, 4.18 ERA) vs. Giants RH Tim Hudson (8-7, 2.65)

The All-Star break came at a much-needed time for Liriano, who has started to bury the memories of a dreadful first half by allowing one earned run in his last two turns. He won for the first time since May 30 last time out, limiting the Los Angeles Dodgers to one run and four hits over a season high-tying seven innings. Liriano is 1-1 in two starts versus the Giants but has permitted eight runs and 17 hits in 10 innings.

Hudson has taken a few steps back after a stirring first 2 1/2 months in which he posted a 7-2 record and major league-leading 1.81 ERA. Hudson is 1-5 over his last seven starts but hasn't received much help from San Francisco's offense, which has scored a combined four runs in his last four defeats. He has lost three consecutive starts at AT&T Park after opening the season 5-0 in his first seven turns there.


1. Pirates LF Josh Harrison is 6-for-9 with two homers, three RBIs and four runs scored in his last two games.

2. The Giants are 6-20 in their last 26 home games.

3. Pirates CF and reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen is 2-for-21 in his last six games.

PREDICTION: Giants 3, Pirates 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Pittsburgh 56-49 W2 34-21 22-28 12-5 22-30 16-7 6-7
San Francisco 57-49 L5 28-29 29-20 16-8 9-12 25-24 7-5
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh San Francisco
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/28/14 PIT 5 SF 0 .219 1 .562 .143 0 .387
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh I. Davis .455 5 1.117
San Francisco H. Pence .235 4 .669
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh J. Harrison 1 3 1
San Francisco B. Belt 1 2 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 2.92 .278 25
San Francisco 4.66 .248 28
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen .309 121 .950
San Francisco H. Pence .295 127 .816
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Pittsburgh A. McCutchen 17 60 63
San Francisco M. Morse 14 37 47
Pitching ERA Avg K
Pittsburgh 3.73 .257 758
San Francisco 3.38 .243 794