for this game

Liriano sharp as Twins pound Mariners

Aug 16, 2008 - 4:46 AM *By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Francisco Liriano is getting more comfortable with each trip to the mound.

Jason Kubel had three hits and three RBI, including a two-run homer, and Liriano won his third straight start as the Minnesota Twins topped the Seattle Mariners, 9-3, on Friday.

Denard Span and Nick Punto each had two hits and two runs scored for Minnesota, which put together a seven-run fourth inning against former Twin Carlos Silva. Liriano cruised through a relatively easy seven innings to win his third-consecutive start since being recalled from Class AAA Rochester at the beginning of August.

"I just went down there to get everything together," Liriano said. "I feel more comfortable throwing my fastball, throwing my two-seamer, and my change-up's been working pretty good, so I feel more comfortable out there."

Liriano (3-3) allowed two runs - none earned - and two hits. He struck out five, retired the first 10 batters he faced, and got Seattle to hit into 14 groundouts. Boof Bonser pitched a scoreless eighth, and Brian Bass gave up one run working the ninth.

In the fourth, Justin Morneau led off with a walk, and Kubel followed with his 17th home run to center field. Adam Everett, Span, Punto, and Joe Mauer would each add RBI singles, and Kubel had his second hit of the inning, an RBI single, to finish the scoring.

"We are a pretty good team at home, it was good to get that," Kubel said. "It's not too often I am able to get two hits in the same inning, but to get a few RBIs out of it is nice."

"(Silva) elevated a couple of balls, they jumped on them and we just couldn't stop them," Seattle manager Jim Riggleman said.

The explosion helped overcome a defensive miscue in the top of the fourth. With the Twins holding a 2-0 advantage, Liriano gave up a single and two walks to load the bases. He then got Wladimir Balentien to ground to Brian Buscher at third base, but a fielding error enabled two runs to score.

"The ball took a funny hop on Busch man," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We call that the football hop. After they play football here, the ball does a few funny things. That was the football hop he got there, it shot right and he just booted it. Other than that, Frankie was pretty good. His fastball was all right. His change-up was pretty good at times. Another step in the right direction."

In the first, Span and Punto each singled and were driven home by Mauer and Morneau to stake Liriano to the two-run lead.

Instead of using a trade-deadline acquisition to bolster the rotation, the Twins recalled Liriano the day after it passed. Returning from "Tommy John" surgery in November 2006, the lefthander missed all of 2007, but started 2008 in the Minnesota rotation. He went 0-3 with a 11.32 ERA over three starts and was sent to Rochester.

Since his return, the 24-year-old is 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA. He has struck out 15 in 18 2/3 innings. Liriano even believes there is more room for improvement. He says he's still waiting to get his fastball back to where it was during his 12-3 rookie season.

"It will come," Liriano said. "Sooner or later, it will come."

Making his first trip back to the Metrodome after signing with Seattle in the offseason, Silva (4-14) couldn't get out of the fourth inning. He gave up a season-high nine runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.

"I tell you, Carlos continues to throw great bullpen sessions in between starts. He warms up good for his start, and just gets in the game and is losing that sink on the ball," Riggleman said. "He's throwing balls about thigh-high. It's unfortunate because the guy is just really working hard to correct it. It's been very frustrating for him."

The righthander has allowed the second-most hits in the American League with 191, eight behind Livan Hernandez, who was released by the Twins to make room for Liriano. Silva entered with a 27-16 record all-time at the Metrodome.

The win pulled the Twins (68-53) to within a half-game of the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox (68-52). Chicago played at Oakland in a late Friday contest.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 1
    MINNESOTA 2 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 x 9 12 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - CARLOS SILVA, JAKE WOODS (4TH), R.A. DICKEY (7TH) AND KENJI
    JOHJIMA
    MIN - FRANCISCO LIRIANO, BOOF BONSER (8TH), BRIAN BASS
    (9TH) AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: S

    Aug 15 10:38 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TUG HULETT HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING RAUL IBANEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    MINNESOTA 9 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: W BALENTIEN (.210, 0-FOR-3)

    Mariners 3, Twins 9  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 15 10:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 7 RUNS IN, J KUBEL ON FIRST, J MAUER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    MINNESOTA 9 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.291, 1-FOR-2)

    Mariners 2, Twins 9  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 15 9:29 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED DENARD SPAN.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, N PUNTO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    MINNESOTA 8 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.303, 0-FOR-0, BB, SF, RBI)

    Mariners 2, Twins 8  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 15 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, N PUNTO ON FIRST, D SPAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    MINNESOTA 7 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.317, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners 2, Twins 7  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 15 9:20 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DENARD SPAN SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, D SPAN ON FIRST, C GOMEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    MINNESOTA 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: N PUNTO (.262, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Mariners 2, Twins 6  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 15 9:19 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM EVERETT SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A EVERETT ON FIRST, B BUSCHER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.253, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 2, Twins 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 15 9:13 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON KUBEL (17) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF CARLOS SILVA SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.290, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 2, Twins 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 15 9:08 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY BRIAN BUSCHER ALLOWED MIGUEL CAIRO AND ADRIAN
    BELTRE TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, W BALENTIEN ON SECOND, J LOPEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: K JOHJIMA (.216, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 2, Twins 2  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 15 9:02 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Mariners 0, Twins 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 15 8:25 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.263, 16 HR, 58 RBI)

    Mariners 0, Twins 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 15 8:24 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED DENARD SPAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N PUNTO ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.318, 7 HR, 56 RBI)

    Mariners 0, Twins 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 15 8:19 PM