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Francisco Liriano's strong debut keys 11-2 win

Rich Schultz

Francisco Liriano posted nine strikeouts in his Pirates debut as the Bucs cruised to an 11-2 blowout over the Mets Saturday afternoon.

Liriano posted great numbers overall, with six hits, two walks and one run allowed in 5.1 innings. He threw 93-94 MPH with his fastball, and both his change and his slider looked terrific. He threw 90 pitches.

Meanwhile, the Pirates got to Jon Niese, scoring one in the second before really getting things going in the third, when Andrew McCutchen had an RBI single and Jose Tabata hit a two-run bomb to left-center.

The Bucs then chased Niese in the fifth. Jordy Mercer homered with one out, and then McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez walked. Tabata (who went 4-for-5) doubled both runners home. Michael McKenry and Clint Barmes then hit RBI singles after Scott Atchison came on in relief.

McKenry added another RBI single in the seventh, and Mercer blasted off yet again in the eighth, leading to more questions about what the Pirates will do with him once Neil Walker returns to the lineup.

Tony Watson allowed a solo home run off Andrew Brown in the bottom of the ninth after a rain delay.

The Pirates had 16 hits on the day, with the not-exactly-murderers'-row of Mercer, Tabata, Brandon Inge, McKenry and Barmes all posting multi-hit games.