Francisco Liriano cleared to begin rehab assignment

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On the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle, Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Liriano will make his first rehab start Monday at Triple-A and is scheduled for five innings and/or 85 pitches, which suggests the Pirates are planning to bring him back pretty quickly if things go well.

Liriano struggled before the injury, following up his Comeback Player of the Year-winning 2013 campaign by going 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA through 14 starts, but his strikeout rate is actually higher than last season’s mark.

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.