Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/30/12

The Minnesota Twins have been trying to be patient with Francisco Liriano, giving him a chance to work out his struggles in the bullpen in hopes that he would regain enough confidence to overcome his command problems and get back in the rotation.

Liriano proved Wednesday afternoon why the Twins have been willing to give him so much rope.

In six shutout innings during a 4-0 win over the Oakland Athletics, the 28-year-old left-hander showed all the stuff he has when he's at his best: a mid-90s fastball, a wipeout slider and a darting changeup. Making his first start since May 7, Liriano threw a pedestrian 51 of his 88 pitches for strikes, but he walked just two hitters, battling back from 2-0 and 3-0 counts for two of his nine strikeouts.

"We need him in the rotation," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The story's been told too many times of how good his stuff is. He's got to go out and get it done. Today was a good start, and we'll work on it."

Liriano is a free agent after the season, and he could be a prime trade candidate for the Twins this July. But whether they're trying to move him or keep him, they him to be at his best. Liriano won 14 games for the Twins in 2010, when they won the AL Central, and his drop-off last season was one of the main factors in the Twins' slide to a 63-99 record. Liriano went 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA in 2011, and he was 0-5 with an 8.47 ERA in 11 games (six starts) this season before Wednesday.

He will pitch again next week in Kansas City, and he could give the Twins a lift during a year in which they've already shuttled through nine different starting pitchers.

"I told myself before the game, this is a start from today," Liriano said. "Everything that happened in the past, I've just got to put it behind me and move forward."

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Junior Galette out for season with torn Achilles

Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin in war of words over 'disrespect'

Report: CJ McCollum agrees to max contract with Blazers

McCarthy not worried about Matthews, Peppers PED claims

Josh Gordon reinstated by NFL, suspended four games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Florida QB Treon Harris to transfer

Jiu-jitsu athlete says he was kidnapped in Rio by men dressed as police

49ers’ Anthony Davis officially applies for reinstatement

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

A too early preview of UEFA World Cup 2018 qualifying

Blues GM: Team may take step back before moving forward

Jason Williams calls Barkley a 'loser' for Durant criticism

Four potential challengers for Amanda Nunes' belt

Kevin Owes vs. Sami Zayn: An instance classic

Jags GM: Greg Hardy workout was to 'do our homework'

White Sox refused to tip Mariners’ clubhouse attendants in protest of new policy

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker