Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/21/12
Mlb-rays-twins-jul

Francisco Liriano's renaissance has probably come too late to make the Minnesota Twins contenders again, but they'll take anything they can get.

If he can lead a resurgence of what has been a lousy rotation, maybe he can raise his value for a non-waiver deadline deal.

In any case, it's all good news.

Liriano didn't get a decision Wednesday but was mostly brilliant, holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run on four hits and two walks, one intentional, over 6 2/3 innings in a 2-1 victory at PNC Park. Banished to the bullpen May 7 with a 0-5 record and a 9.45 ERA, he has gone 1-2 with a 2.67 ERA since being reinstated May 30.

"I've been happy with him since he's come back in the rotation," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think he's attacked, I think he's really worked at it, and I think he's going to be a big influence on our baseball team.

"Throwing the ball like that, he can give us a lot of confidence."

His one earned run came on a sacrifice fly by Rod Barajas that really should have been a bases-loaded double in the seventh inning. Center fielder Denard Span, however, ran into left field to make a shoe-string catch. Jared Burton (1-0) ended the threat by inducing a grounder to first, and Josh Willingham knocked in the go-ahead run with solo home run in the eighth.

"I've been using more of my fastball and throwing all my pitches for strikes," he said. "Before I was trying to bounce some pitches in the dirt. Now when I get behind in the count, I'm trying to hit my spots. I'm not trying to strike everybody out."

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