Starting staff has rough road trip

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 7, 2011 - 11:47 PM
hide

Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano lasted five innings in his second start of the season Thursday.

Photo: Christopher Pasatieri, Mct - Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

NEW YORK - Why did the Twins go 2-4 on their first road trip? Much of it came down to starting pitching.

The Twins didn't have a single quality start, which requires at least six innings pitched and three or fewer earned runs allowed. Meanwhile, their opponents were 5-for-6 in quality starts.

The opposing pitchers were good, but much of that falls on the Twins hitters, too.

On Thursday, they had a chance to win their first series in the Bronx since May 2001, with Francisco Liriano opposing the Yankees' A.J. Burnett.

The Yankees used a three-run fourth inning to defeat the Twins 4-3.

Liriano (0-2) used 97 pitches over five innings, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks.

"I think Frankie just falls in love with that slider too much," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's got a great sinker and a great changeup, and when he's using those two pitches, everything goes along pretty good. But you misfire a little bit and have 100 pitches in five innings."

Liriano lasted only four innings in his previous start, a 6-1 loss at Toronto. He said his arm "feels great."

"Sometimes I just overthrow," he said, "trying to be too fine, too perfect and just rush, trying to overdo things."

Not hitting enough

The hitters haven't exactly been thriving either. The team batted .201 on the road trip and averaged 3.17 runs per game.

Justin Morneau, Jim Thome and Jason Kubel doubled off Burnett in the fourth inning, giving the Twins a 2-1 lead, but the Yankees regained the lead for good that inning.

Burnett (2-0) held the Twins to two runs over six innings. They scored an unearned run off Joba Chamberlain in the seventh, but Rafael Soriano pitched the eighth, and Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

"We had opportunities," Gardenhire said. 'We hit a couple balls pretty long but not out [of the park]. No excuses. I like the way the guys are playing. They're getting into it. They're getting after the game pretty hard."

Mauer to catch

Gardenhire made a point of telling the media that Joe Mauer will catch Friday's home opener.

"[Carl] Pavano's pitching, and normally [Drew] Butera is his catcher, but since it's Opening Day at home, I'll try not to get us all booed. They might boo me anyway, but if I catch Mauer, that's one spot I won't get booed."

Mauer went 2-for-4 Thursday, capping a 4-for-18 (.222) road trip.

Etc.

• The Twins scheduled Saturday's game at 6:10 p.m., so that if Friday's home opener gets postponed it could be played Saturday afternoon, as part of a split doubleheader.

• Kubel led the team's hitters on the trip by going 7-for-21 (.333). Denard Span was 7-for-23 (.304) with three walks, giving him a team-best .478 on-base percentage.

• Danny Valencia went 2-for-20 on the trip but lined out to shortstop (against Chamberlain) and flied to the left field warning track (against Rivera) in his final two at-bats.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Oakland 6
Cleveland 0 Bottom 8th Inning
Cincinnati 9
Boston College 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Boston 0
Arizona State 0 Top 3rd Inning
Arizona 0
Boston 6:00 PM
Cleveland
LA Lakers 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Sacramento 6:00 PM
New York
Houston 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Washington 7:00 PM
Chicago
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Calgary 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 6:30 PM
Florida
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Minnesota
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 6:00 PM
Alabama
Eastern Mich 6:00 PM
Ball State
Kent State 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Georgetown 6:00 PM
Butler
Toledo 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Dayton
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
North Carolina 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Holy Cross
Iowa 6:00 PM
Indiana
Akron 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Army 6:00 PM
Navy
Maryland 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Stetson 6:30 PM
North Florida
Wright State 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 5:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
NJIT 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Texas
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close