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 strikes and make some good pitches and give my team the ...