MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - INSIDE PITCH
PITTSBURGH -- Francisco Liriano is getting closer to returning to the active roster.
Liriano will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment Monday with Triple-A Indianapolis. He will face Lehigh Valley in an International League game and is scheduled to pitch five innings with a 75-pitch limit.
Liriano has been on the disabled list since June 11 with a strained left oblique. He got through a four-inning simulated game on Wednesday without incident.
"I feel good," Liriano said. "I'm ready to start pitching in game and hopefully it won't be long before I'm back in the rotation."
If all goes well, Liriano will make two or three minor league starts then rejoin be activated right after the All-Star break.
The Pirates are hoping Liriano can finish strong as he is 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA in 14 starts. He won 16 games last season as the Pirates both had their first winning season and playoff appearance since 1992.
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
NEXT: Phillies (RHP Roberto Hernandez, 3-7, 4.26 ERA) at Pirates (RHP Gerrit Cole, 6-4, 4.02 ERA)
--CF Andrew McCutchen was in the lineup Thursday night and went 2-for-4 in a 10-2 loss to Arizona. There had been some question about whether McCutchen would be ready to play after leaving Wednesday night's game against the Diamondbacks in the ninth inning when he fouled a ball off his left foot an inning earlier.
--LHP Francisco Liriano, who has been on the disabled list since June 11 with a left oblique strain, will begin a rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Indianapolis. He is expected to pitch five innings against Lehigh Valley and be on an 85-pitch limit.
--INF/OF Josh Harrison did not start for a second straight day as manager Clint Hurdle wanted to give him a rest. However, Harrison pinch hit in the seventh inning and remained in the game at third base. Harrison did not play Wednesday, the first time he sat out an entire game since June 13.
--RHP Vance Worley (2-1) took his first loss in four starts since being called up June 15 from Indianapolis as he allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings. Worley took a no-hitter into the sixth inning but lost both it and the shutout when Arizona CF Ender Inciarte hit an RBI single. RF David Peralta followed with a two-run home run that put the Diamondbacks ahead for good, 3-2. Worley has pitched into the seventh inning in all four starts.
--RHP Gerrit Cole (6-4, 4.02) starts Friday against Philadelphia -- the second straight year he will face the Phillies on Independence Day -- in the opener of a three-game series. He has pitched at least six innings in nine of his 13 starts this season but last just four innings his last time out last Saturday against the New York Mets in his first appearance after missing 3 1/2 weeks with right shoulder fatigue. Cole lost his only career start against the Phillies last July 4, giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a funny game, a funny game. I think I just didn't trust the pitch, I was trying to do too much with it and then that's why I was bouncing it and getting behind in the count." -- Pirates RHP Vance Worley after a 10-2 loss to Arizona on Thursday.
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - ROSTER REPORT
--LHP Francisco Liriano (left oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 11. He played catch June 19, and he threw off a mound for the first time June 26. He threw a 50-pitch side session June 29. He pitched a four-inning simulated game July 2.
RHP Charlie Morton
RHP Edinson Volquez
RHP Gerrit Cole
LHP Jeff Locke
RHP Vance Worley
RHP Mark Melancon
LHP Tony Watson
RHP Ernesto Frieri
LHP Justin Wilson
RHP Jeanmar Gomez
RHP Jared Hughes
RHP Stolmy Pimentel
1B Ike Davis
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
3B Pedro Alvarez
INF Gaby Sanchez
INF Clint Barmes
LF Starling Marte
CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Gregory Polanco
OF Travis Snider
INF/OF Josh Harrison