Thu, May 05, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Minnesota’s Liriano tosses no-hitter

UP AND DOWN:The Twins’ 27-year-old southpaw had been struggling coming in, starting the season 1-4 after being named last season’s AL comeback player of the year

AFP and AP, CHICAGO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, making the first complete game of his MLB career one to remember.

Liriano was the star as the Twins defeated the White Sox 1-0.

The 27-year-old left-hander walked six batters and struck out two, throwing 123 pitches.

He worked out of trouble in the ninth inning, which opened with Brent Morel grounding to shortstop and Matt Tolbert making a throw caught by first baseman Justin Morneau.

Juan Pierre walked and Alexei Ramirez popped to shortstop.

Liriano fell behind in the count to Adam Dunn. He then got two strikes before Dunn lined out to Tolbert.

“To be honest, I was running out of gas,” admitted Liriano, who was mobbed by teammates. “I just thank my teammates that they made some great plays behind me tonight.”

It was the first no-hitter of the season. There were six no-hitters last season, including two perfect games.

“I can’t explain it. I felt so nervous and am so happy right now,” said Liriano, who was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation after starting the season 1-4. “I used both sides of the plate and didn’t try to do too much.”

Liriano was the AL’s comeback player of the year last season.

He burst onto the major league scene in 2006, going 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA.

However, his explosive motion contributed to an ailing arm near the end of that season, which required elbow ligament replacement surgery.

He missed all of 2007 and for two years after that fought to regain his form.

Now he has notched the seventh no-hitter for the Twins-Washington Senators franchise and the first since Eric Milton tossed one against the Angels on Sept. 11, 1999.

TIGERS 4, YANKEES 2

In Detroit, Scott Sizemore had three hits in his return to the -major leagues, helping Detroit snap a seven-game losing streak.

Sizemore was called up from Triple-A Toledo to try to bolster the top of Detroit’s struggling lineup. Leadoff man Austin Jackson hit a double and a triple and Sizemore hit a double and two singles batting behind him.

Brad Penny (2-3) pitched six strong innings without allowing an earned run for the Tigers. Jose Valverde finished for his sixth save.

C.C. Sabathia (2-2) went seven innings, allowing four runs and 10 hits. He struck out six.

Penny allowed six hits, walked two and struck out one.

In other AL action, it was:

‧ Rays 3, Blue Jays 2

‧ Red Sox 7, Angels 3

‧ Indians 4, Athletics 1

‧ Mariners 4, Rangers 3

‧ Royals 6, Orioles 5 (10)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AP, NEW YORK

Aubrey Huff ended an 0-for-20 slump with a leadoff homer in the 10th inning as the San Francisco Giants snapped out of its offensive slumber, beating the New York Mets 7-6 on Tuesday.

Nate Schierholtz homered for the Giants, who had lost eight of 11. The defending World Series champions, shut out three times in their previous six games, entered with the second-worst offense in the NL.

Javier Lopez (1-0) and Francisco Rodriguez escaped dicey jams in the ninth before Huff sent a 2-0 pitch from Taylor Buchholz (1-1) off the facing of the right-field overhang for his third home run.

Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer and Ike Davis a two-run shot for the Mets.

PHILLIES 4, NATIONALS 1

In Philadelphia, Cole Hamels pitched a five-hitter for Philadelphia and Raul Ibanez doubled twice as he stopped 0-for-35 slump.

Jayson Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk in his first game in Philadelphia since signing a US$126 million, seven-year deal with the Nationals. Werth was mostly booed when he came to the plate in the first, but he turned the jeers into cheers when he took off his helmet and tipped it to the crowd.

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