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Francisco Liriano and the near no-hitter

Mar 18, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT

Francisco Liriano AP

The resurgent Francisco Liriano pitched five hitless innings and combined with four relievers on a one-hit shutout of the Pirates on Sunday.

The Pirates got their only hit when Brandon Boggs singled off Luis Perdomo in the eighth. Twins pitchers ended up with 10 strikeouts in the 10-0 win. Liriano recorded six of them.

Liriano, who went 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA last season, has impressed in three of his four outings this spring, with all four of the runs and four of the six hits he’s allowed coming against the Blue Jays five days ago. Overall, he’s fanned 18 and walked two in 13 innings.

Liriano was obviously better prepared for this spring after getting some innings in during the Dominican Winter League season. His fastball command is better than it was at any point of last season, and his slider is plenty sharp as well. There’s certainly no guarantee that he’ll stay healthy, but he seems poised to deliver the bounce-back season the offensively-challenged Twins are going to need from him.

  1. rooney24 - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Hope he can stay healthy this season, and pitch fairly well.

  2. Maxa - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Out of curiosity, do we know what kind of velocity Liriano has had this spring?

  3. hcf95688 - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Do stats count in games vs the pirates?

  4. brewdogg - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    If he is going to come back to form, it will be this year. If he isn’t somewhere near where he was way back in……what year was that again?……then he never will be.

  5. southpawsup - Mar 19, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    This is the Frankie we need to see in Minnesota. Fingers crossed.

  6. schrutebeetfarms - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    When first hearing about this, I assumed it was an inter-squad game.

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