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Willingham has faced Liriano before

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • July 31, 2012 - 5:18 PM

The non-waiver trade deadline passed without the Twins making another move, as La Velle reports here. Now, back to regular programming.

Josh Willingham took Francisco Liriano deep last year.

The Twins were in Oakland on July 29. It was the first inning. Liriano fell behind in the count 3-0. Willingham had the green light, swung at the next pitch -- a fastball -- and didn’t miss, drilling a two-run homer to left field.

“He wasn’t throwing as hard last year, so he was kind of a different guy,” Willingham recalled Monday.

Well, tonight, Willingham can take aim again. After getting traded to the White Sox on Saturday, Liriano drew the start against his former team tonight.

Willingham and Jamey Carroll are the only two Twins who’ve faced Liriano previously. Willingham is 1-for-2 with a walk and Carroll is 0-for-5 with FOUR WALKS.

That’s the thing about Liriano. When he’s on, look out. When he’s off, look out. Good teams know to be patient against Liriano, to make him throw strikes. As Denard Span said yesterday, everyone will know within the first couple innings what kind of night it’s going to be for Frankie.

By the way: Willingham homered a second time in that July 29 game -- off Jose Mijares. Here's the video. It was a 9-5 victory for the Twins, and Willingham had all five of Oakland's RBI. Good grief, no wonder the Twins wanted him.

Updates: The one tweak Manager Ron Gardenhire made to his lineup was sticking Darin Mastroianni in right field instead of Ben Revere. Mastroianni is a righthanded hitter, and Gardenhire said he was hoping to get Revere a day off soon anyway.

Trevor Plouffe saw a hand specialist today and confirmed that he is dealing with a bone bruise in his right thumb. That's good news. He's eligible to return from DL on Aug. 5.

Carl Pavano (right rotator cuff weakness) pushed back the next step in his rehab. He was hoping to begin a minor-league rehab stint Thursday, but now the plan is to pitch batting practice again Friday.

Class AA New Britain RHP Alex Wimmers is scheduled to return to Minnesota soon to meet with Twins doctors about his right elbow. Doesn't sound good.

WHITE SOX (55-47)

1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
2. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
3. Adam Dunn, DH
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Alex Rios, RF
6. A.J. Pierzynsik, C
7. Dayan Viciedo, LF
8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

Starting pitcher: LH Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.31 ERA)

TWINS (44-58)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Darin Mastroianni, RF
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Brian Dozier, SS
9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.99 ERA)

Target field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib @LaVelleNeal @JGonStrib

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