PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. - Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano finished up an impressive spring training by giving up one earned run over five innings against the Rays in a game that ended in a 6-6 tie after Matt Capps gave up a ninth-inning home run.
Tampa Bay scored two unearned runs off Liriano in the fifth inning. Outfielder Lance Ray dropped a fly ball that would have ended the inning, enabling one run to score, and Ben Zobrist followed with an RBI double.
Other than that, Liriano consistently hit 93 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun as he lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.33. He walked one and struck out seven. In 27 innings this spring, Liriano has walked five and struck out 33.
"Frankie was outstanding," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Ray, an extra player who spent last year at Class A Beloit, bounced back with a home run in the eighth.
Liriano is scheduled to start Saturday against Baltimore, the Twins' second game of the season.
As for Capps, the closer has not had a smooth spring training. He gave up a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth to Tampa Bay's Cody Rogers that tied the score at 6-6. The game was called after the Rays made the final out in the ninth -- the Twins' first tie this spring but Tampa Bay's sixth.
Capps has a 5.73 ERA in 11 games and has given up four home runs, including one in each of his past two outings.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III