Francisco Liriano got out of a huge jam in the fourth inning tonight. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Clint Hurdle has mentioned in the past that there are certain "three-out sequences" that alone can determine the course a game takes. If there was one such sequence that played heavily into the Pirates' 6-2 victory in Tuesday night's National League Wild Card game, it came in the fourth inning.
The Pirates scored two runs that inning, but the impact of the inning came when no Pirate had a bat in his hand.
Francisco Liriano pitched a perfect three innings to begin his start against the Cincinnati Reds. As a result, the Pirates were able to build a 3-0 lead on the back of solo home runs off the bats of Marlon Byrd and Russell Martin in the second, and a sacrifice fly to center by Pedro Alvarez that scored Andrew McCutchen from third base in the third.
But what Liriano did in the fourth inning was even more crucial to his success.
Liriano's short-lived bid for a perfect game en...
Nate covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects and is the Publisher of Panther Digest, covering Pitt athletics. He also serves as About.com's College Basketball Expert. You can find Nate on Twitter at @NateBarnes_