Liriano’s return lifts Twins into first

From the Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano, who sat out all of last season after reconstructive elbow surgery and struggled in three starts earlier this year, threw six scoreless innings in his return Sunday to help the Twins to move into first place in the AL Central Division with a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Minnesota moved half a game ahead of the Chicago White Sox, who lost at Kansas City, 14-3.

“Been a long time,” Liriano said, when reminded that his last major league victory was also against the Indians, on July 23, 2006.

In his previous major league start, he gave up six runs in less than an inning at Oakland on April 24. Said Twins catcher Mike Redmond: “His arm strength, you know it’s not what it was before he first got hurt. But it was pretty close.”


Liriano gave up three hits, walked three and struck out five. He drew a standing ovation after striking out Ben Francisco to end the first.

“That settled me down a little bit,” he said.