It’s been an anticipated day for Twins fans, and they weren’t disappointed. In his first major league start in more than three months, Francisco Liriano dazzled the nearly 40,000 fans in attendance. His control was off at times, but in his first start back it was to be expected.
Liriano walked three hitters in the start, but one was more of an intentional, unintentional walk to the Indians’ leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore. He struck out five hitters overall, and his slider looked particularly nasty at times.
Franchise was not dominant, but he was still very good. A few walks and a poor defensive play in the third inning forced Liriano to work out of a jam, and he ran into a little trouble in the fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth inning however, Liriano retired the Indians’ in order to end his day, including the first two hitters on just three pitches.
Offensively, the Twins scored four runs in the two middle innings to build their lead. They were lead by two run-scoring triples by Mike Lamb and Nick Punto along with two solo homeruns by Bendan Harris and Denard Span.
The 6-2 victory was the perfect ending to the perfect day for Minnesota. With a big Royals win over Chicago they moved into first place in the American League Central for the first time in more than one-hundred days. And it looks more and more like Liriano could provide the spark that the team needs.