Francisco Liriano Throws No-Hitter for the Minnesota Twins, Gets ERA Under 7.00

Zeke FuhrmanAnalyst IIIMay 4, 2011

Last Wednesday, Minnesota Twins lefty Francisco Liriano allowed four runs to the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning before recording an out.

Six days later, he pitched baseball's first no-hitter of the season against the Chicago White Sox, beating the White Sox 1-0.

Liriano, who is the first Twins to throw a no-no since Eric Milton in 1999, struck out two and walked six as he threw the 270th no hitter in MLB history.

It is the seventh no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins-Washington Senators franchise.

Liriano came into the game with an ERA of 9.13, and is the first player in MLB history to throw a no-hitter when coming into a game with an ERA over 9. His current ERA of 6.61 is the lowest it has been after finishing a game all season.

Liriano had some major control issues—largely the the reason for his 123 pitches and six walks. Chicago White Sox starter Edwin Jackson threw a no-hitter for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season. Jackson threw 149 pitches, walked eight batters and also won the game 1-0.

Jason Kubel's solo shot off Jackson in the fourth inning was the game's only run, and Liriano received a lot of help from his defense.

In the seventh inning, third baseman Danny Valancia made a backhanded grab on the line and threw out OF Carlos Quentin by half a step, then 1B Justin Morneau made a dug out of a throw by Matt Tolbert that retired Brent Morel in the ninth before getting Adam Dunn to line out to Tolbert for the final out.

The Twins also turned three double plays behind Liriano.

Liriano, the reigning AL Comeback Player of the Year, was 13-10 with a 3.36 ERA for the Twins last season after finishing 2009 5-13 with a 5.80 ERA. Liriano had Tommy John surgery in 2006 after being named an All-Star and posting a 12-3 record with a 2.26 ERA and missed all of 2007.

This season, Liriano is 2-4 with a 6.61 ERA and leads the majors with 24 walks for the 10-18 Minnesota Twins. The Twins are now a half game ahead of the White Sox for the worst record in the major leagues.

Liriano's no-hitter is also his first career complete game and shut out.

The Twins acquired Liriano from the San Francisco Giants with Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser in 2003 for catcher A.J Pierzynski. Pierzynski, now with the White Sox, was on the bench and was put into the game as a defensive replacement and caught Mark Buerhle's no-hitter in 2007.

Drew Butera caught Liriano's no-hitter with Joe Mauer on the DL with bilateral leg weakness. Drew's father, Sal Butera, won a World Championship with the Twins in 1987.

Seven players with batting averages under .200 started the game—four for the Twins and three for the White Sox.

The Twins will start Nick Blackburn (1-4, 5.14 ERA) against Jon Danks (0-4, 3.92 ERA) at US Cellular field at 1:10 on Wednesday afternoon.