PITTSBURGH (AP) — Francisco Liriano didn't think he was going to play baseball this year when he broke his right arm goofing off with his kids last Christmas.
Fast forward 10 months and the left-hander has become the de facto ace for the surging Pittsburgh Pirates. Liriano will start Game 3 of the NL division series against St. Louis on Sunday, seeking to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
Liriano is 9-1 at home this year, including seven superb innings in Pittsburgh's 6-2 win over Cincinnati in the wild-card game on Tuesday.
The Cardinals counter with 25-year-old Joe Kelly, who will make his first postseason start. Kelly went 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in four starts this year against Pittsburgh.