Liriano, Twins fall flat in finale of road trip

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 5, 2011 - 6:26 AM

The Twins completed a 4-6 road trip with a familiar scene, a dud from their starting pitcher.

view larger photos


ANAHEIM, CALIF. - For a team that fancies itself a contender, the Twins sure spend a lot of games looking like complete pretenders.

They haven't won a series since July 17, when they finished taking three of four from the Royals. That streak could have ended Thursday night, but the Twins were facing the Angels, a team legitimizing itself weekly as a real contender.

Dan Haren was masterful for eight innings, and Francisco Liriano ... not so much, as the Twins fell 7-1 at Angel Stadium.

Haren (12-6) held the Twins to one hit before the eighth, when Jim Thome connected for his 598th career home run. The Twins added three more hits that inning, but the rally fizzled after Danny Valencia got thrown out at home on what seemed a sure RBI single by Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The Angels have won 12 of their past 14 series to stay within one game of the AL West-leading Rangers. The Twins finished 4-6 on their road trip to Texas, Oakland and Los Angeles and are eight games behind the Tigers in the AL Central.

The Twins were expected to land in the Twin Cities at about 5 a.m. They open a three-game series at home Friday against a White Sox team riding a six-game losing streak.

The Twins are 7-1 against the Chicago this year, and they will have to hope that success continues, especially since the next four opponents are the Red Sox, Indians, Tigers and Yankees.

To go on another run like their 15-2 stretch in June, the Twins need a big turnaround from their starting pitchers, who went 2-6 with a 8.70 ERA on the road trip.

Liriano (7-9) remains maddeningly inconsistent. Once again, he crumbled at the first hints of adversity.

When Michael Cuddyer (playing at second) and Joe Mauer (at first) failed to turn a double play in the second inning, the Angels turned it into two runs, getting RBI hits from No. 8 batter Peter Bourjos and No. 9 batter Jeff Mathis.

Liriano opened the fourth by walking Alberto Callaspo and Torii Hunter. Vernon Wells beat out a potential double play ball, and with two outs, Mark Trumbo smashed a slider for his 21st homer of the season.

"I made a big mistake right there," Liriano said. "I was trying to bounce it in the dirt, and it stayed up. I've got to make a better pitch in that situation."

Said manager Ron Gardenhire: "I don't know how to rate Frankie's performance because we missed so many plays defensively. Five runs after two double plays should have been turned."

Bourjos signified the Angels' aggressive play with two baserunning gems: He scored from second base on Mathis' infield single in the second and went from first to third on a swinging bunt by Mathis in the fourth.

"Tapper in front of the mound, and he goes first to third," said Gardenhire, still astonished. "... I don't think he went to second, I think he went across the mound. That's how quick he got there."

Valencia showed barely a fraction of that speed in the eighth, when Bourjos cut him down from center field on Nishioka's grounder up the middle.

Hunger, determination and grit. Right now, the Angels seem to have all of it, and the Twins most certainly do not.

  • L.A. ANGELS 7, TWINS 1 Up next: vs. Chicago White Sox • 7:10 p.m. today • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
DetroitR. Porcello (15-11)000
MinnesotaR. Nolasco (5-11)000
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box


Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - C. Morton
Toronto - D. Hutchison 6:05 PM
Baltimore - U. Jimenez
Washington - T. Roark 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Miami - N. Eovaldi 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
NY Yankees - M. Pineda 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Houston - N. Tropeano
Detroit - R. Porcello 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 7:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
Los Angeles - D. Haren 7:40 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
San Francisco - J. Peavy 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Seattle - R. Elias 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Texas - N. Tepesch 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 9:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question