Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Game #26 - Liriano Dominant in Victory

After starting the season 0-4, Francisco Liriano finally picked up win #1 with a dominant performance against the Detroit Tigers. The lefthander allowed just 4 hits in 7.1 innings of work and led the Twins to a 7-2 victory over Detroit at Comerica Park.

Liriano allowed just 2 runs in the performance, walking 3 and striking out 9 hitters. It was his second consecutive solid performance. Last week against Tampa Bay, he pitched well enough through 6.2 innings for the win, only to see the bullpen give the lead away.

As has been written previously, the Twins absolutely need its top two starters Liriano and Scott Baker to return to form quickly in order to compete in the Central. Liriano has shown signs of bouncing back his last two times out and Baker was spectacular through 6 innings Sunday before running out of gas, but he showed flashes of his normal self.

At the plate, Denard Span was 4-5 with an RBI; Michael Cuddyer was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI; and even Alexi Casilla and Carlos Gomez had RBI hits. The Twins used a 5-run 7th inning off Tigers' starter Edwin Jackson to break a 1-1 game open, and Liriano and Matt Guerrier closed it out.

Elsewhere in the AL Central:
  • Kansas City 3, Chicago White Sox 0 - Zack Greinke did it again, notching a complete game, 6-hit shutout, complete with 10 strikeouts. He is now 6-0 on the season, and his ERA of 0.50 actually dropped to 0.40. I've never seen such an amazing start to a season by a pitcher. Check out my column on Examiner.com for more on Greinke's 2009 start.
  • Cleveland 9, Toronto 7 (12 innings) - Despite being no-hit by Toronto starter Brian Tallet for the first 6 innings, the Tribe stormed back to win the game in extra frames. Hot-shot rookie Matt LaPorta's first MLB hit was a 2-run homer which broke up Tallet's no-hit bid. The game was see-saw after that point, with Toronto matching Cleveland's rallies run-for-run, until the Indians took control in the 12th inning to move to 10-16 on the year.

Around the minors:

  • AAA - Rochester 4, Louisville 2 - Kevin Mulvey's solid start paced the Red Wings over the Bats. Mulvey scattered 4 hits and overcame 4 walks in his 5 innings of work, allowing just 1 run to pick up the win. Mike Gosling and Sean Henn finished up for the Red Wings. Matt Tolbert was 4-6 with 2 RBI in the game; Luke Hughes was 3-4 with 2 walks and an RBI; Dustin Martin and Drew Butera each had 2 hits for the Wings, who improved to 10-12 on the season with the win.
  • AA - New Hampshire 8, New Britain 3 - Ryan Mullins struggled in the game, dropping to 0-5 on the season with 3.2 innings pitched and 11 hits and 5 runs allowed. Wilson Ramos and Whit Robbins each had 2 hits apiece for New Britain, which dropped to 10-13 with the loss.
  • High A - Ft. Myers 8, Sarasota 6 - The Miracle used an 11-hit attack to fuel a victory over Sarasota. Daniel Berg homered, Steve Singleton tripled, and Nick Romero doubled in the victory. Berg, Romero, Ben Revere, and Danny Lehmann had 2 hits apiece. Mike McCardell threw 6 solid innings (6 hits, 3 runs, 7 strikeouts) in the victory, and Ft. Myers improved to 15-9.
  • Low A - Beloit 5, Great Lakes 1 - Brad Tippett was good in his start, going 7 innings and allowing just 1 run and striking out 8 in the Snappers' victory. Evan Bigley had 2 hits for Beloit, which improved to 8-15 with the win.


  • New Britain starting pitcher Jeff Manship was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for last week. Manship threw 7 shutout innings in his start against Trenton last week, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5.

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