Twins give up 6 in sixth, fall to Indians 8-2
Francisco Liriano thinks he can carry something positive into
the offseason. Well, at least his left shoulder isn’t hurting.
”I feel way better than the last time I pitched,” Liriano said
after allowing five runs in one-third of an inning in an 8-2 loss
to the Cleveland Indians in the opener of Saturday’s day-night
doubleheader. ”That’s the main thing for me, how my shoulder’s
going to feel. I feel fine.”
The loss was Minnesota’s 17th in 19 games and seventh straight
against Cleveland. The Twins are four defeats away from their first
100-loss season since 1982.
Minnesota’s Danny Valencia and Denard Span were back in the
lineup after missing one game. They were involved in a minor car
accident on the way to the airport on Thursday, when Span drove
into the back of Valencia’s car.
Liriano, who pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox
on May 3, had been on the disabled list with a sore shoulder.
Manager Ron Gardenhire has used him out of the bullpen since he was
activated last week.
Liriano (9-10) entered a 2-all tie in the sixth after Brian
Duensing gave Minnesota five strong innings. He walked Jason Kipnis
and Carlos Santana, then loaded the bases when he hit Travis Hafner
with a pitch.
Shelley Duncan’s sacrifice fly gave Cleveland the lead, and Matt
LaPorta’s RBI double and Jack Hannahan’s run-scoring bloop single
made it 5-2, finishing Liriano, who gave up two hits, walked two
and hit a batter.
”One minute everything was fine,” Liriano said. ”I think I
was rushing and trying to overthrow. The ball was moving
everywhere. It was one of those days.”
Liriano threw 25 pitches, only 10 for strikes.
”Frankie was misfiring,” Gardenhire said. ”He felt great.
That’s the key for us. We tried to get him through an inning. It
wasn’t going to work out. We didn’t want him to throw 50 pitches in
Liriano, who has thrown 134 1-3 innings, doesn’t think he’ll
pitch in Minnesota’s final five games.
Jim Hoey replaced Liriano and was greeted by Kosuke Fukudome’s
RBI single and Kipnis’ two-run single.
Duensing allowed two runs and three hits in five innings, his
first start since leaving a game Sept. 3 with a strained right
oblique. He had worked three times in relief since.
Duncan’s two-run double in the first put Cleveland ahead, but
Duensing didn’t allow any more damage.
”I was able to throw everything for strikes,” Duensing said.
”I settled down after the first inning. I needed that going into
the end of the season. Everything feels fine. It took all year, but
it’s probably the best I’ve felt.”
Scott Baker, who has been bothered by a right flexor strain,
pitched two scoreless innings.
”We had one bad inning,” Gardenhire said. ”Seeing some of the
guys who have been hurt get back on the mound is pretty big for us
late in the season. It gives you a little better feeling going into
Three Cleveland pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts and no
walks. Rookie first baseman Chris Parmelee, who came in batting
.389 in his first 15 major league games, struck out in all four
Michael Cuddyer, who left Friday night’s game with a sore groin,
started at DH and was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Zach Putnam (1-1) struck out three over 1 1-3 innings for his
first major league win.
Trevor Plouffe’s RBI double tied the score 2-all in the sixth
before the Indians broke away in the bottom half.
Cleveland’s David Huff struck out a career-high seven in 5 2-3
innings. He gave up two runs and eight hits.
Minnesota closed in the fourth on Huff’s run-scoring wild
NOTES: Indians CF Trevor Crowe left in the second, an inning
after straining his left shoulder trying to make a diving catch on
a sinking liner by Ben Revere that dropped for a double. …
Minnesota placed C Joe Mauer (pneumonia), 1B Justin Morneau
(concussion symptoms) and IN Tsuyowshi Nishioka (strained oblique)
on the disabled list. All the moves were retroactive to
mid-September. … The Twins were set to send LHP Scott Diamond
(1-5) to the mound in the second game against Cleveland RHP Mitch
Talbot (2-6). … Cleveland closes its home schedule Sunday with
RHP Fausto Carmona (7-15) opposing Twins RHP Liam Hendricks