Liriano pays for rushing things in Toronto loss

  • Updated: March 14, 2012 - 11:24 AM

The lefthander gave up four runs in the third inning of an 8-2 loss to Toronto.

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Francisco Liriano, shown earlier during spring training, struggled against Toronto on Tuesday.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores , Star Tribune

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Liriano hit hard in loss to Blue Jays

FORT MYERS, FLA. - After lefthander Francisco Liriano left Tuesday's game against Toronto, he headed to the bullpen to throw more pitches to help prepare his arm for the regular season.

He needed to face air instead of someone holding a bat.

After pitching two scoreless innings, Liriano was ripped for four runs in the third. And it came quickly -- the at-bats went single, hit batter, single, strikeout, double and double.

"I think I was rushing like I always do,'' Liriano said. "Trying to throw too hard.''

Liriano is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in spring training following the 8-2 loss to the Blue Jays. He has walked one batter and struck out 12 , which is good. The problems have been the balls that have been struck.

"Frankie got some balls up and got whacked,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Minor league trouble

Twins minor league pitchers Yeison Florentino and Ezequiel Zarzuela have been suspended for 50 games for violating the league's drug policy.

Florentino, 20, was 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA for the Twins' Dominican Summer League team last season. He tested positive for Nandrolone. Zarzuela, 21, was 3-2, 2.60 for the DSL team. He tested positive for Stanozolol. The suspensions will take place at the beginning of the season.

Gardenhire to attend father-in-law's funeral

Gardenhire will not be with the club this weekend so he can travel to Wichita, Kan., to attend funeral services for his father-in-law, who died late last week.

He spent Tuesday working on schedules for the next several days. The Twins have a B game against Pittsburgh on Thursday morning before the regularly-scheduled game that afternoon; split-squad games against Baltimore and Boston on Friday; and a long trip to Jupiter on Saturday to play the Marlins.

Scott Ullger will be in charge in Gardenhire's absence.

Span set to return?

Twins outfielder Denard Span, who missed two games because of a sore neck, is on the travel roster for Wednesday's game at Clearwater against the Phillies.

Span was not available after the game but said earlier that he intended to go through an entire pregame workout before deciding.

Etc.

• Infielder Steve Pearce left Tuesday's game because of a sore right calf muscle. He will be evaluated Wednesday.

• Infielder Luke Hughes, after playing all 10 innings Monday against Tampa Bay, played all nine innings Tuesday against Toronto. Hughes was slowed early in camp by a sore shoulder and was unable to play in the field before Monday.

On deck

The Twins will head to Clearwater on Wednesday to play the Phillies. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who hasn't played since Saturday because of a sore left pinky, is scheduled to start at shortstop. Righthander Jason Marquis will start for the Twins while righthander Roy Halladay starts for the Phillies. First pitch is at 12:05 p.m.

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