Twins-White Sox Preview
Francisco Liriano just did his part to help the Minnesota Twins
improve their lofty ERA, but the team still hasn’t solved its
Less than 24 hours after Liriano threw the seventh no-hitter in
the history of the franchise, Minnesota goes for a two-game sweep
Wednesday at the major league-worst Chicago White Sox.
Likely pitching for his spot in the rotation following a rough
April, Liriano walked a season-high six but did not allow a hit in
Tuesday’s 1-0 victory at Chicago (11-20).
It was the first no-hitter in the majors this season and first
for Minnesota since Eric Milton did it against the Angels on Sept.
“I can’t explain it. I feel so nervous and so happy right now,”
His career high-tying 123-pitch performance helped the Twins
(10-18) snap a season-worst six-game losing streak and move out of
the AL Central cellar. They are now one-half game ahead of the
White Sox, who were no-hit for the 13th time and first since Aug.
26, 1991, by Kansas City’s Bret Saberhagen.
While the Twins’ ERA dropped from 5.06 to 4.87, the club had
just six hits in the series opener – a Jason Kubel homer in the
fourth inning accounted for all the scoring – as its batting
average fell to .229.
Manager Ron Gardenhire’s club, which has scored three runs or
fewer in seven straight games, will try to get more offense going
against John Danks (0-4, 3.92 ERA) as it goes for its sixth
consecutive victory at US Cellular Field and 13th in its last 15
The White Sox, losers of 16 of 20 overall, have not won any of
Danks’ six starts this season.
The left-hander has taken the loss in three consecutive starts.
He gave up a season-high five runs and eight hits in six innings of
Friday’s 10-4 loss to Baltimore, assuring Danks of his first
winless April since his 2007 rookie season.
“This is frustrating,” he told the White Sox’s official website.
“There is no other word for it. We’re all putting the work in.
There is really no reason why it’s not going our way. We’re way too
talented. We’re working hard and it’s just frustrating.”
Danks hasn’t lost four straight starts since a career-worst
six-start skid Aug. 1-30, 2007.
He is 6-7 with a 5.06 ERA in 19 starts against the Twins.
Minnesota will counter with Nick Blackburn (1-4, 5.14), who has
lost a career-high four straight starts. The right-hander allowed
seven runs – five earned – in a season-low 3 1-3 innings of
Thursday’s 15-3 loss to Tampa Bay.
Blackburn surrendered five runs for the third straight start
along with a season-high four walks.
“I just couldn’t throw strikes,” he said. “Everything I was
throwing was going straight in the dirt. It was just one of those
Blackburn is 6-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 13 career starts against the
Kubel, whose 19 homers against Chicago are seven more than he
has against any other team, is batting .396 while hitting safely in
14 of 15 games. He is 9 for 37 with a homer off Danks.
White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who had his 10-game hitting
streak against the Twins snapped Tuesday, is 10 for 23 against