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TEAM NOTES

Liriano pushed back to Tuesday

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN
  • Star Tribune
  • May 7, 2011 - 10:18 PM

BOSTON - The Twins think Francisco Liriano caught the same virus that's been going around the clubhouse, so they moved his next scheduled start from Monday to Tuesday.

That means he will be pitching with six days of rest, two more than usual, when he faces the Tigers at Target Field in his first start since his no-hitter Tuesday in Chicago.

Liriano came down with a sore throat and upper respiratory congestion and didn't feel well enough to throw his between-starts bullpen session Saturday. The Twins had talked about moving his start back anyway, since he matched a career high with 123 pitches vs. the White Sox.

"It's the right thing to do after all those pitches," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Nick Blackburn will be pitching on regular rest -- four days -- when he faces the Red Sox on Monday night.

Slowey impresses

Kevin Slowey's first appearance since April 4 set up perfectly for the converted starter. He had been on the disabled list because of right shoulder bursitis, and the Twins activated him just in time to relieve Brian Duensing after Saturday's 127-minute rain delay.

This gave Slowey the chance to warm up, just as a starter would, as the team's waited to resume play in the top of the third inning.

Slowey held the Red Sox to one run on six hits over 4 1/3 innings, with one walk and one strikeout.

The Twins tried using Slowey as a short reliever at the beginning of the season, but his arm didn't respond well after pitching in three of the first four games.

"Obviously, I wasn't built to be able to [pitch in back-to-back games] like I did earlier, and being hurt isn't a way to help this team," Slowey said. "But absolutely, I feel like I can help the team in this role. Whether it's to get us through a rain delay or to help us out and save some arms, where they need someone to throw 3-4-5 innings."

Etc.

• Several players will swing pink bats and wear pink wrist bands Sunday as part of baseball's annual effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Under Armour even sent Trevor Plouffe a pair of pink cleats. The shortstop's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, but she's in remission and doing great, Plouffe said.

• Dusty Hughes didn't give up any runs this spring, but the lefthander went to Class AAA Rochester on Friday with a 10.12 ERA. "In spring training, he was having seven- and eight-pitch innings, and up here he had 20-pitch innings, and that's just not attacking the strike zone," Gardenhire said.

• Jose Mijares, perhaps suffering from the same virus that has afflicted Liriano, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Delmon Young and Carl Pavano, was sent back to the team hotel Saturday because he was sick.

• Gardenhire gave Morneau the chance to DH on Saturday, mentioning Morneau's recent neck injury and lingering elbow soreness from a recent hit by pitch. Morneau went 1-for-4, grounding into a key double play in the sixth inning.

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