Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Liriano says he'll be fifth starter

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: March 30, 2010 - 9:44 AM

(Update: Joe reports via Twitter that Liriano says he'll be the team's fifth starter and that he's glad he's not closing.)

FORT MYERS, FLA. -- Francisco Liriano will make his sixth outing of the spring today, when the Twins play the Pittsburgh Pirates at Hammond Stadium, and it'll be interesting to see how deep into the game he pitches.

Liriano has yet to pitch more than four innings in any of his appearances this spring. He needed 67 pitches to get through the fourth last Thursday against Tampa Bay.

(Update: Liriano pitched six innings without giving up a run. He gave up three singles, walked three and struck out eight against a  Pirates lineup that didn't have any regulars and included pitcher Charlie Morton batting -- and whiffing -- twice. The Twins used a DH.)

No question, Liriano's 22-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio is impressive, but he needs to show that he can pitch deeper into games.

PIRATES

1. John Raynor, RF

2. Ramon Vazquez, 3B

3. Bobby Crosby, SS

4. Ryan Church, CF

5. Steve Pearce, 1B

6. Delwyn Young, 2B

7. Robbie Grossman, LF

8. Jason Jaramillo, C

9. Charlie Morton, P

Pitching: RHP Charlie Morton

TWINS

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Orlando Hudson, 2B

3. Joe Mauer, C

4. Justin Morneau, 1B

5. Michael Cuddyer, RF

6. Jim Thome, DH

7. Jason Kubel, LF

8. J.J. Hardy, SS

9. Nick Punto, 3B

Pitching: Francisco Liriano, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Clay Condrey

Hammond Stadium. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. (Central). No TV. Twins Radio Network

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