Pirates activate Francisco Liriano from the disabled list for Sunday start against the Reds

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Via Tom Singer, the Pirates beat writer at MLB.com

Matt Hague went 0-for-2 with a strikeout in three games as a backup outfielder for the Bucs.

Francisco Liriano wound up missing a month with a left oblique strain. He was dominant in his one rehab start with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, striking out eight batters and surrendering only three hits over six scoreless innings. The southpaw will be trying to help the Pirates win an important three-game series in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon. Pittsburgh is in fourth place in the National League Central standings but only two-and-a-half games back of the Brewers and Cardinals, who enter play Sunday in a tie for first.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.