Twins
Royals
7 - 3 Final
  for this game

Liriano, five-run sixth power Twins past Royals

Aug 10, 2008 - 4:59 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Francisco Liriano continued his successful return to the major leagues and Delmon Young homered to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals, 7-3, on Saturday night.

The Twins (65-51), who briefly moved into first place in the American League Central Division on Sunday before surrendering it one day later, reclaimed a one-half game lead over the Chicago White Sox (64-51), who lost earlier in the evening to the Boston Red Sox.

Liriano (2-3) made his second start since being recalled on August 1, allowing three runs and six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

"Frankie threw the ball good," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think the long (sixth) inning might have got to him a little bit. I think he had a better breaking ball and changeup than he had a fastball. He pumped his fastball when he needed it and it had some life on it. It was a good performance by him."

The 24-year-old lefthander picked up his first road win since July 23, 2006, just the latest of his long line of triumphs. Including his last nine wins with Class AAA Rochester, Liriano has won 11 straight decisions.

"I was feeling better than I was in my first start," Liriano said. "I was trying to make perfect pitches. (Miguel) Olivo's (home run) was a bad pitch. My slider was good. My changeup was good."

"He's working at it," said Gardenhire in response to whether Liriano has returned to his 2006 form. "His velocity isn't the same. He's not quite back to where he was a couple of years ago, but he is probably better than a lot of guys. He is a force on the mound."

After Royals starter Zack Greinke (9-8) walked Jason Kubel and missed the strike zone with his first six pitches of the second inning, Young hammered his next pitch into the fountains in left field for his fifth homer of the season and a 2-0 lead.

"We got two balls on decent pitches to Kubel," Greinke said. "Then I tried too hard to throw a strike and walked him. Then, to Young, I did the same thing and tried too hard to throw a strike. I threw it right down the middle, a fastball, and he hit it good. I was putting so much pressure on myself to throw strikes."

Kansas City halved the deficit on Olivo's fourth-inning solo shot, but Minnesota broke open the game with five runs in the sixth, highlighted by rookie Denard Span's two-run single and a hit batsman that caused the benches to empty.

Greinke, who is playing during an appeal of a five-game suspension for hitting Nick Swisher of the White Sox in his previous start, plunked Young after Kubel led off the sixth with a triple.

"There's no doubt," said Gardenhire when asked if he thought Greinke threw at Young. "He doesn't miss that bad. That was at his face. If you want to throw inside and knock a guy off, you don't do it at his face. They can say what they want to say."

"It didn't really cross my mind that someone thought it was possibly intentional until I saw him looking at me like that," said Greinke, who added that the latest incident shouldn't affect the appeal of his suspension. "I was trying to make a good pitch on the inside corner. I just forgot about it after that."

Although Young took a step toward the mound and the benches cleared, players were separated before a fight ensued. There were no ejections, but warnings were issued to both dugouts.

"When it's so close to your head, you don't know what's going on," Young said. "If so, I was hoping for the ribs or lower. We scored five runs after that. Whatever it did was a good thing for us."

"I don't think we need things like that to fire us up," Gardenhire said. "That adds on. Stuff like that really lights a fire. It always has, always will. That's just part of sports."

After Brian Buscher's RBI single, Adam Everett walked to load the bases and chase Greinke from the game. Following Span's two-run single, Justin Morneau capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly, boosting the Twins' advantage to 7-1.

"I did a couple of stupid things and the Twins always rely on mistakes," Greinke said. "I had two really stupid walks, and then there was the play where I didn't get the runner after I had him picked off. All three of those came around to score."

Greinke pitched five innings, allowing six runs, nine hits and three walks while striking out six.

"They got the leadoff triple and his pitch total was up, and that's when he had trouble controlling the ball," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "There was an unfortunate error behind him."

"He didn't have as good command as you'd like. It should have been very obvious to everyone that he wasn't throwing at (Young). It was a fastball inside. Later in the game, he had more trouble commanding his pitches. It was ridiculous to think it was intentional."

Mark Teahen's two-run double in the sixth accounted for the final runs of the contest.






  • 10
    roots
    itzmewalli Added 5 roots

    Twins 7, Royals 3  FinalAug 9 11:05 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 7 10 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 8 3 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIN - FRANCISCO LIRIANO, BOOF BONSER (6TH), DENNYS REYES (9TH) AND
    JOE MAUER
    KAN - ZACK GREINKE, LEO NUNEZ (6TH), ROBINSON TEJEDA
    (8TH) AND JOHN BUCK

    HOME RUNS:

    Aug 9 10:25 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK TEAHEN SCORED JOSE GUILLEN AND ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M TEAHEN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 7
    KANSAS CITY 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.236, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 7, Royals 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 9 9:27 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, D SPAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 7
    KANSAS CITY 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.269, 2-FOR-2, BB)

    Twins 7, Royals 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 9 9:08 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DENARD SPAN SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER AND ADAM
    EVERETT.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, D SPAN ON SECOND, C GOMEZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 6
    KANSAS CITY 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: N PUNTO (.271, 1-FOR-3)

    Twins 6, Royals 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 9 9:05 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY CARLOS GOMEZ SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C GOMEZ ON FIRST, A EVERETT ON SECOND, B
    BUSCHER ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    KANSAS CITY 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.320, 1-FOR-3)

    Twins 4, Royals 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 9 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRIAN BUSCHER SCORED JASON KUBEL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BUSCHER ON FIRST, D YOUNG ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    KANSAS CITY 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A EVERETT (.198, 1-FOR-2)

    Twins 3, Royals 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 9 8:56 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIGUEL OLIVO (11) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF FRANCISCO LIRIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2, KANSAS CITY 1
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.258, 1-FOR-1)

    Twins 2, Royals 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 9 8:27 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Twins 2, Royals 0  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 9 8:07 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DELMON YOUNG (5) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF ZACK GREINKE SCORED JASON KUBEL.
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2, KANSAS CITY 0
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.304, 3 HR, 29 RBI)

    Twins 2, Royals 0  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 9 7:41 PM