FORT MYERS, Fla. Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano cruised through his first two starts of the spring, throwing a total of five scoreless innings. Through two more scoreless innings Tuesday against Toronto, he seemed to be continuing that trend in start No. 3.
But the wheels fell off for Liriano in the third inning as he allowed four runs on four Blue Jays hits, including back-to-back doubles on consecutive pitches by Travis Snyder and Travis d'Arnaud in Minnesota's 8-2 loss to Toronto.
Prior to Tuesday, Liriano surrendered just two hits in five combined scoreless innings against Boston and Tampa Bay. Last Thursday against the Rays, Liriano recorded five strikeouts in three innings of work. He routinely worked ahead in the count in that start while keeping his pitch count low.
Tuesday was a different story. Twice in the second inning, Liriano fell behind batters by 3-1 counts. While he retired both hitters, he still saw his pitch count climb.
In the third, Liriano all...