Bucs' pitchers stingy at home with long ball

Bucs' pitchers stingy at home with long ball

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates pitching has been coming up huge on so many yardsticks. But there is no need to go to the tape-measure, not in PNC Park, where Buccos pitchers are keeping hitters from going yard at a record pace.

The chief of yard maintenance, Francisco Liriano, was on the job Saturday night. Entering his eighth home start against the Rockies, the left-hander did not allow a home run in any of his previous starts at PNC Park, covering 44 2/3 innings.

That made Liriano the best, but hardly unique, on the Pittsburgh staff. In their first 56 home games, the Bucs had surrendered 24 homers.

Lately, the allowance has been even more miserly. Troy Tulowitzki's homer in the second inning on Friday was the visitors' first in eight games and only their fifth in the last 26 home games. At that recent rate, with 25 home games remaining, the Bucs would finish their 81-game schedule with 29 homers allowed.

The Major League record for fewest homers allowed at home in an 81-game schedule is 31, by the 1979 Houston Astros.

"We've been stingy, all right," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've kept the ball down, made pitches, worked to the big part of the ballpark. That's one of the strengths our pitchers have had."

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.