(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Baseball Writer Early in spring training, Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he was just going to tell left-hander Francisco Liriano to let it fly.
That's exactly what Liriano has been doing on the mound so far.
The key to the Twins rotation is off to an impressive start with 18 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched this spring. He has a 2.77 ERA and threw five no-hit innings in his last start against the Pirates.
Liriano has struggled with inconsistency since bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2006. He had Tommy John surgery and has often struggled with the Twins' desire to see him walk fewer hitters and be more efficient.
Now Gardenhire says it might be time to let him focus on strikeouts and see what happens.