CINCINNATI -- Left-hander Francisco Liriano remained locked in as the Pirates starter for Tuesday's Wild Card Game against the Reds -- only, his leash got a little shorter as a result of the club nailing down home-field advantage for that playoff opener.
Gerrit Cole, who had been slated to start Sunday's season finale between the teams if the Wild Card home field remained unresolved, has been scratched and now instead will back up Liriano should he need early relief.
Cole can't count on getting in his work Tuesday night at PNC Park, where Liriano has lost just once in 11 starts and has a 1.49 ERA.
Manager Clint Hurdle highlighted Liriano's effectiveness at home as one of the key aspects of the Pirates having earned the right to host the playoff game.
"Frankie's been real good at home, so that makes it significant," Hurdle said.
Liriano had been listed as the Wild Card Game starter regardless of where it would have been played. By comparison, however, he was 8-7 with a 4.33 ERA on the road, and had lost both of his regular-season starts in Great American Ball Park.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.