MINNEAPOLIS Francisco Liriano has shown throughout his career that he can be a dominating pitcher. But Friday's outing may have been Liriano's most dominant start to date.
The Twins left-hander fanned a career-high 15 batters Friday against Oakland, baffling Athletics hitters for eight innings. Yet one rough inning was all it took for Liriano and the Twins to come away losers by a 6-3 final despite Liriano's dazzling, strikeout-filled performance.
After striking out eight of the first 10 batters he faced, Liriano served up a grand slam to Oakland's Jonny Gomes in the fourth inning. While Liriano rebounded after the homer, Minnesota never recovered.
"Goodness gracious, he was throwing the living fire out of the ball. All his pitches were working," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "Unfortunately, we just made a couple bad plays out there. That really hurt us tonight."
After striking out the side in the first and third innings, Liriano allowed a leadoff hit to Jemile Weeks -- wh...