Twins pitch Francisco Liriano has had an up and down season this year. One outing, he looks impressive, and the next he can’t find the strike zone and is unable to go deep into a ball game.
Friday night in Oakland the dominant Liriano made an appearance, pitching 7 solid innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Liriano struck out four and walked two, and improved his record to 8-8 on the season while dropping his ERA to 4.67.
He got off to a rough start, however, giving up a 2 run home run in the first inning to Josh Willingham, who had all five RBI for the A’s last night and also hit a three run blast in the bottom of the 8th. Willingham has been in the middle of a lot of trade talk, but at least for last night, it didn’t affect his play.
For the Twins, offensively it was a team effort, and they took advantage of some Oakland miscues. In the third a pair of throwing errors got the Twins a run, and in the sixth A;s starter Gio Gonzalez, who struggled all night, walked Ben Revere with the bases loaded.
The Twins blew it open in the 8th, when Michael Cuddyer, also the subject of trade speculation, hit a 3 run home run.
Game two is tonight at 9:05 CST from Oakland.