Liriano ready to go in first start after no-hitter

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 10, 2011 - 9:47 AM

The lefthander isn't worried about following up his gem.

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Francisco Liriano

Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press

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BOSTON - Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano has far simpler goals for Tuesday night's start against the Tigers than firing another no-hitter.

He said he never had heard of Johnny Vander Meer, who threw consecutive no-hitters for the Cincinnati Reds in 1938. No major league pitcher has done it since.

Liriano will be making his first start since his no-hitter in last Tuesday's 1-0 victory over the White Sox.

"I just want to go out there and have a quality start and give the team a chance to win the game," Liriano said Monday. "I don't think about a no-hitter or anything like that."

What does manager Ron Gardenhire want?

"Who you kidding?" he said. "I'd take another no-hitter."

But considering Liriano took a 9.13 ERA into that historic night in Chicago, the Twins just want to see him poised and in command again, as he was for most of last season.

"Just get the ball, do your job, get a win," Gardenhire said.

Pitchers normally get four days of rest between starts, but Liriano will have six after matching his career high with 123 pitches against the White Sox. He came down with a sore throat and upper respiratory infection over the weekend, so the Twins moved his start from Monday in Boston to Tuesday at Target Field.

"I threw a bullpen [Sunday] and feel fine," Liriano said. "So it should be back to normal now. I could have made this start [Monday] if I had to."

New helmet for Morneau

Justin Morneau tried wearing a batting helmet with extra padding for the first five weeks of the season, but this weekend, he switched back to the lighter model worn by most players.

Morneau, who suffered a season-ending concussion last July 7, said the Rawlings S100 model that he had been wearing was too heavy -- "Like 10 times too heavy," he said.

Morneau said his doctor told him there was no definitive evidence that the new model would do more to help prevent a concussion.

Plouffe update

Trevor Plouffe is day-to-day because of a strained left hamstring and will have a magnetic resonance imaging exam Tuesday. The shortstop suffered the injury while running the bases Sunday.

Plouffe's hamstring responded well to a strength test Monday, so the Twins were hopeful he would only have to miss a couple days. Gardenhire is tired of playing shorthanded, but rushing Plouffe onto the disabled list might not help, since the Twins have no other healthy middle infielders on the 40-man roster.

Etc.

• Left fielder Delmon Young (strained oblique) is scheduled to be the designated hitter in an extended spring training game Tuesday.

• Gardenhire said he started Luke Hughes at second base Monday to give Alexi Casilla a mental break and also because Hughes is a good fastball hitter to face hard-throwing Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. Hughes had two singles off Beckett. Casilla entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch runner and stole a base; he grounded out with two on and two out in the 10th.

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