La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Liriano tries to beat the heat and beat the Rangers

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 6, 2012 - 5:08 PM


Francisco Liriano saw a reporter in the clubhouse today and asked, "What do you think about this heat?"

Reporter: Can't get away from it."

Liriano suffered from cramps his last time out, in the middle of the Twin Cities heat wave. He said he's been drinking plenty of fluids to avoid a rerun today when he takes the mound against the Rangers. Liriano gave up five earned runs over 5.1 innings in his last outing, so he's looking to get back on the run that lifted his spirits - and his trade value

On the mound for Texas is lefthander Martin Perez, who has been rumored as a possible piece of a deal for Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels. With Roy Oswalt struggling, look for the Rangers to go after an established starter before the trade deadline.

Denard Span is getting a day off. That allows Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to  start outfielder Darin Mastroianni again. Ben Revere gets the start in center. He's batting .420 against lefties this season. Wow.

Twins (35-47)

1. Ben Revere. CF
2. Darin Mastroianni, RF
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Brian Dozier, SS
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

Pitching: Francisco Liriano, LHP

Rangers (50-33)

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Josh Hamilton, LF
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Michael Young, DH
6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Mike Napoli, 1B
8. Yorvit Torrealba, C
9. Craig Gentry, CF

Pitching: Martin Perez, LHP

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

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