for this game

Liriano wins fourth straight as Twins top A's

Aug 20, 2008 - 9:38 PM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Francisco Liriano and the Minnesota Twins have taken care of business at home. Now, the challenge is whether they can take their momentum on the road.

Liriano won his fourth straight start since being recalled from the minors and Mike Redmond had a pair of RBI singles Wednesday afternoon as Minnesota hung on for a 3-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics.

The Twins ran their record to 30-9 at home since June 1, and they have won 16 of their last 19 series overall.

With the Twin Cities hosting the Republican National Convention, the Twins are set to embark on a 15-day, 14-game road trip beginning with a four-game series against one of the best teams in baseball, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It is Minnesota's longest road trip since 1969.

"It's August, it's the 'Dog Days,'" Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Everyone says if you have to go out west, it would be best to do it all in one trip. Well, we get to do it. We'll see what happens."

The Twins play 24 of their next 30 games away from the Metrodome. The upcoming road trip will play a large part in determining whether Minnesota will be able to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. Minnesota (72-54) remained one game behind the Chicago White Sox (73-53) in the American League Central Division.

"All of the teams play well at home, we play well at home, that's what you're supposed to do," Redmond said. "The teams that go to the playoffs find ways to win on the road. It is going to start with the pitching, but we've got to score runs too."

A key figure to Minnesota's postseason hopes is Liriano (4-3), who allowed one unearned run and five hits in five innings Wednesday. The hard-throwing lefthander walked three and struck out five.

Three relievers worked the next three innings to set up closer Joe Nathan, who pitched a perfect ninth for his 34th save.

Since being recalled on the day after the trading deadline, Liriano is 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings. However, he was far from dominant on Wednesday, pitching in and out of trouble throughout his outing.

"I had trouble finding my spots," Liriano said. "I don't know, just rushing I think."

Oakland had baserunners in each inning, but the Athletics could only push across Mark Ellis in the first inning. Ellis reached on an unlikely error by second baseman Nick Punto and scored on an infield single by Jack Cust.

"We played pretty good today, we just lost," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "Every day it was a different story. Today, we really had some chances and hit the ball good. We just didn't get any breaks today."

The Twins also scored their leadoff hitter in the first, when Justin Morneau's RBI single plated Denard Span. In the fifth, Carlos Gomez had a bunt single and scored on Redmond's RBI single.

Redmond added an insurance run in the sixth off of Athletics starter Dallas Braden (3-3). Punto led off with his second hit, stole second and came home on Redmond's single to center.

Braden allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He tied a career-high with seven strikeouts, but left with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. Huston Street came on to strike out Brendan Harris and end the threat.

"We still lost the game," Street said. "We are still trying to win a series. We haven't done that in a long time. I take some confidence away from it, and I am going to continue to build on it. But winning takes care of everything. If you win, people have to play well."

The struggles continue for Oakland, which is 6-25 since the All-Star break, the worst mark in the majors. The Athletics have lost their last 11 series, the longest winless streak in club history.








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

    BATTERIES: OAK - DALLAS BRADEN, HUSTON STREET (6TH), ALAN EMBREE (8TH) AND KURT
    SUZUKI
    MIN - FRANCISCO LIRIANO, BOOF BONSER (6TH), DENNYS
    REYES (8TH), JESSE CRAIN (8TH), JOE

    Aug 20 4:05 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.310, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Athletics 1, Twins 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 20 3:11 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Athletics 1, Twins 2  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 20 2:53 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE REDMOND SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M REDMOND ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.311, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Athletics 1, Twins 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 20 2:13 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED DENARD SPAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON FIRST, N PUNTO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.288, 7 HR, 53 RBI)

    Athletics 1, Twins 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 20 1:29 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 1 1 2 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - DALLAS BRADEN
    MIN - FRANCISCO LIRIANO

    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.318, 2 HR, 21 RBI)
    N PUNTO (.275, 2 HR, 23 RBI)
    M REDMOND (.277, 0 HR, 6

    Athletics 1, Twins 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 20 1:21 PM