Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Francisco Liriano, Russell Martin Lead Pirates to First Post-season Win Since 1992

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 2, 2013

American League

There were no games in the AL on Tuesday.

The AL Wild Card playoff is slated for an 8:07 pm EDT start in Cleveland, with the Indians hosting the Tampa Bay Rays.

Russell Martin
National League

Francisco Liriano
Francisco Liriano held the Reds to one run on four hits over seven innings and catcher Russell Martin socked a pair of home runs to lead the Pirates to a 6-2 win over Cincinnati in the NL wild card playoff.

It was the first post-season win for the Pirates since 1992, and it propelled them into the NL divisional series with St. Louis, which begins on Thursday at Bush Stadium.

Liriano walked one and struck out five, keeping the Reds off the scoreboard every inning except the fourth, when Cincinnati pushed a run across. The Pirates countered in the bottom of the inning with two more, however, making it a 5-1 game.

When he finished the seventh inning after throwing 90 pitches, Liriano was replaced on the mound by reliever Tony Watson, who allowed a solo homer by Cincinnati leadoff batter, Shin Soo Choo, in the eighth. It was not even close to being sufficient, as the Reds were dismissed from the playoffs after Jason Grilli set them down in order in the ninth.

Martin's two homers were both solo shots, one in the second inning and one in the seventh. He added a single to go 3-for-4. Marlon Byrd also had a solo homer in the second as the Pirates built their lead.

Today's Trivia: In the 2000s, which two players won the Rookie of the Year award and then won the MVP award the following season? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Randy Johnson won the NL Cy Young award four straight seasons, from 1999-2002, pitching for Arizona. Johnson also won the AL Cy Young in 1995 when a member of the Seattle Mariners.

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