Minnesota Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano was moved to the bullpen last week after starting the season with just under a 10 earned run average in 26-plus innings as a the "ace" of the team. Tonight against the Cleveland Indians, Liriano made his first appearance in his new role in the seventh inning, relieving starter Carl Pavano and going on to toss two scoreless innings.
Liriano worked a 1-2-3 first inning of relief, getting Jose Lopez and Casey Kotchman to ground out before striking out Shelley Duncan. He followed that up by working a scoreless eighth, but after retiring the first two batters, he got himself into the same kind of trouble that ultimately cost him his spot in the rotation, walking the bases loaded. He left the free passes stranded, though, as he struck out Michael Brantley for his third K in the outing.
Liriano was touching 95 mph and needed 42 pitches to get through the two innings, most coming during the three base on balls in his second inning of work.
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