Found May 30, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
With the worst starting rotation ERA in baseball, the Minnesota Twins are turning back to Francisco Liriano - not that he has exactly earned another chance. Liriano will make his first start since May 7 on Wednesday when the Twins try for a three-game home sweep of the woeful Oakland Athletics, who have lost seven straight. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced Saturday that Liriano (0-5, 8.47 ERA) would get the ball for this afternoon game against the Athletics (22-28). The left-hander was demoted from the rotation after going 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA in his first six starts. "I'm looking forward to starting. I've always been a starter and that's what I want to do," said Liriano, who will become a free agent after this season. "I'm very happy and just looking forward to trying to do my job, get better and everything." Liriano didn't inspire much confidence in his last appearance, giving up four runs over 2 2-3 innings of relief during Friday's 10-6 loss to Detroit. Minnesota (17-32), however, has a major league-worst rotation ERA of 6.33, and Gardenhire doesn't have many other options. "We can't just keep bouncing around from guy to guy to guy to guy," the manager said. "We just need Frankie. We said we were going to give him a few shots out of the bullpen, let him calm down a little bit. Now we'll put him back out there and see if we got that pitcher going." Liriano is 2-3 with a 4.98 ERA in nine career starts against Oakland. He has struck out Brandon Inge more than any other hitter in the majors, as Inge is 4 for 32 with 16 strikeouts against him. Minnesota is in position to notch its first three-game sweep of the season after former Oakland outfielder Josh Willingham delivered a two-out, three-run homer - his fifth career walkoff shot - in the bottom of the ninth inning off Brian Fuentes in Tuesday's 3-2 win. "You want to be in that situation whether you get a hit or not," said Willingham, who led the Athletics with 98 RBIs last season. "Fortunately I was able to get a hit tonight. I've been on the other end several times as well." Oakland's seven-game skid is its longest since a 10-game slide May 30-June 9, 2011. The A's blew a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth of Monday's 5-4 defeat. "They fight. The effort's there. Every single day," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "It's disappointing, frustrating, the whole bit to be where we are right now. You just have to keep plugging. We were one out away. You just have to keep going." The A's have totaled 12 runs while batting .180 during their slide. Their .212 average on the season is the worst in the majors. Oakland starter Tyson Ross (2-5, 5.79) enters this contest coming off consecutive defeats, yielding a career-high three homers and six runs over 4 1-3 innings Friday in a 6-3 loss to the Yankees. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 7.11 ERA in five road starts. Ross threw seven pitches in his lone start against Minnesota on May 19, 2011, allowing a single to Denard Span before leaving with a left oblique strain. Minnesota's last three-game home sweep of Oakland was Aug. 13-15, 2010.

Twins' Liriano: 'This is a new start for me'

MINNEAPOLIS With the way he was pitching early on, Francisco Liriano didn't have many reasons to smile this year. But there was no mistaking the grin on his face after he helped the Minnesota Twins sweep the Oakland Athletics with a 4-0 victory Wednesday.It was Liriano's first start since May 7. Since then, the Twins left-hander was demoted to the bullpen for three weeks...

Twins starting to show flashes of improvement

Here's a sentence you haven't heard lately: The Twins are on a roll.They swept the Oakland A's in a three-game series.And Francisco Liriano is coming off what, for him, was a brilliant performance. Liriano threw six shutout innings and struck out nine in the 4-0 Wednesday win that completed the sweep.Never mind that the A's are in a slump and have had the worst batting...

Liriano makes stellar return to Twins' rotation

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...

Military dad surprises his girls at Twins game

Your browser does not support iframes. Regardless of the number of times we see this same move executed, it will never get old. We may get tired of ceremonial first pitches or quirky mascot antics before a game begins, but a solider returning home from overseas to surprise his family is always fun to watch. As you can see from the video above, Master Sgt. Robert Buresh returned...

Twins lead baseball in double plays turned

MINNEAPOLIS At the beginning of this season, the Minnesota Twins struggled to turn double plays. For a stretch of six games early in the year, they didn't turn a single one. Often times, they'd get the first out but fail to capitalize on the second one. Now, Minnesota leads all of baseball in double plays turned, much to the surprise of those turning them. "Do we...

Twins' De Vries walks tightrope in home debut

MINNEAPOLIS Cole De Vries already had his first major league start out of the way, so you would assume some of the nerves were gone as the Eden Prairie native and former Minnesota Gophers pitcher made his Target Field debut on Tuesday. Not so. De Vries, making his second start with the Twins, was all over the place in Minnesota's 3-2 win over Oakland. The 27-year-old right...

Twins' Willingham, Liriano send A's to 8th straight loss

By Dan MyersSpecial to SportsXchangeMINNEAPOLIS -- Playing against his former team, Minnesota Twins left fielder Josh Willingham did it again Wednesday. Less than 24 hours after clubbing a walk-off, three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Willingham blasted another homer Wednesday to lead the Twins to a 4-0 win over the Oakland A's. The victory...

The sacrifice fly is an underrated art-form

MILWAUKEE Two Saturdays ago, Minnesota Twins rookie Brian Dozier stood in the Miller Park batter's box during the sixth inning of a tie game between Minnesota and Milwaukee, fighting like crazy to hit into an out.Of course, the only out suitable for Dozier entailed lofting a ball to the deepest part of the park deep enough to score the man standing on third base with just one...

Twins 3, Athletics 2

Josh Willingham hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. Justin Morneau added two doubles for the Twins, who trailed 2-0 heading into the ninth thanks to a strong start from A's right-hander Jarrod Parker. But Jamey Carroll led off the ninth with a single against Brian Fuentes (2-1),...

Phil Dumatrait to retire

Willingham Goes Yard!

Sometimes, all it takes is one.  The Oakland A's (22-28) went into the 9th up by 2 runs against a the Minnesota Twins (17-32) and were hoping to finally end their 6 game losing streak.  That was until Josh Willingham stepped up to the dish with 2 on and 2 out and bashed a 3 run job over the fence to win the game -- walk off style.  The Twins celebrated by giving him a Gatorade...

Twins release RHP Jason Marquis

Twins 4, A's 0

By Dan MyersSpecial to Sports XChangeMINNEAPOLIS -- Playing against his former team, Minnesota Twins left fielder Josh Willingham did it again Wednesday. Less than 24 hours after clubbing a walk-off, three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Willingham blasted another homer Wednesday to lead the Twins to a 4-0 win over the Oakland A's. The win completed...

Hometown Heroes

The Twins will be enjoying their day off today after finishing a sweep of the lowly A's yesterday, but I had to blog about something, so here are some standings and stats for ya. A.L. Central Division          W        L           %          GB      White Sox                29       22        .569        ...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.