Francisco Liriano's return to the Minnesota rotation was a rousing success, with six shutout innings by the vexing left-hander Wednesday to lead the Twins to a 4-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics, their eighth straight loss.
Liriano (1-5) retired the last 11 batters he faced and struck out nine, the most this season by any Twins pitcher. He allowed only two walks with a double and two singles against the worst-hitting team in the majors that brought a brutal .212 batting average into the game.
Josh Willingham had an RBI single and a two-run homer, roughly 15 hours after his three-run shot in the ninth gave the Twins a dramatic win the night before. This was their first sweep of both a home series and a three-game set this season.
Tyson Ross (2-6) lasted only five innings for the A's, who have lost 12 of their last 15 games and are batting .172 during the skid. Ten times in that stretch, they've scored two runs or fewer.
Ross has lost six of his last seven starts with a 7.34 E...