Frank Francisco cleared for opener after cortisone shot

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Frank Francisco needed fluid drained from his knee and got a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain, but the Mets closer is expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Francisco “felt good” after throwing a bullpen session and an MRI exam showed no major damage, but his lack of velocity and poor performance this spring certainly remains a concern.

His grip on the closer role, however, should be pretty strong thanks to a two-year, $12 million deal and, if healthy, Francisco’s track record as a setup man suggests he’s very capable of getting the job done.

Video: Corey Dickerson breaks scoreless tie with walk-off home run

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Neither the Pirates nor the Tigers could manage any offense during Thursday afternoon’s game at PNC Park. That is, until outfielder Corey Dickerson launched a walk-off solo home run off of Alex Wilson with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Dickerson, 28, has been solid for the Pirates for the first month of the season. He’s batting .314/.348/.500 with a pair of home runs, 13 RBI, and 13 runs scored in 92 plate appearances. The Pirates acquired him from the Rays in late February in exchange for journeyman pitcher Daniel Hudson and Single-A infielder Tristan Gray.