Minnesota Twins starter Francisco Liriano was cruising through the Oakland Athletics lineup Friday, looking as dominant as he did when he threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox last season.
Then, Oakland's Johnny Gomes deposited his one bad pitch into the second deck in left field for a grand slam. In past cases, it would have been the beginning of the end for the enigmatic Liriano.
Not on Friday.
Liriano (3-8) recovered to retire 15 of the final 16 batters he would face and struck out a career-high 15 in Minnesota's 6-3 loss to the A's. Liriano's 15 strikeouts tied the MLB-high for this season and were the second most in Twins' history, trailing only the 17 Texas batters Johan Santana fanned at the Metrodome on Aug. 19, 2007.
''After that, I said to myself, `You know, what's done is done. So, nothing I can do about it,''' Liriano said of getting past Gomes' ninth home run of the season. ''Just go out there, throw ...