Liriano beats Lee; Twins' list of ace victims continues to grow
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As it turns out, seven days rest was just what Francisco Liriano needed.
Liriano out-dueled Cliff Lee on Thursday night, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk in seven innings, as the Minnesota Twins defeated the Texas Rangers, 6-4.
Liriano struck out six and threw 99 pitches after experiencing a tired arm near the end of last week. He also earned his 12th victory, which ties a career high and kept the Twins from being swept in a four-game series against a fellow playoff contender.
As for Lee, add him to the list of top-shelf starting pitchers the Twins have defeated this season.
The following list includes recent Cy Young Award winners, as well as pitchers who currently rank near the top of the ERA and/or FIP leaderboards this season:
April 9: 4-3 win over White Sox (John Danks)
April 12: 5-2 win over Red Sox (Jon Lester)
April 16: 10-3 win over Royals (Zack Greinke)
April 27: 2-0 win over Tigers (Justin Verlander)*
May 12: 3-2 win over White Sox (John Danks)
May 22: 8-7 win over Brewers (Yovani Gallardo)
June 8: 7-3 win over Royals (Zack Greinke)
June 11: 2-1 win over Braves (Tim Hudson)*
June 20: 4-1 win over Blue Jays (Roy Halladay)
June 26: 6-0 win over Mets (Johan Santana)
July 2: 2-1 win over Rays (David Price)
July 26: 19-1 win over Royals (Zach Greinke)*
July 31: 4-0 win over Mariners (Feliz Hernandez)
August 4: 2-1 win over Rays (David Price)
August 17: 7-6 win over White Sox (John Danks)
August 22: 4-0 win over Angels (Jered Weaver)
August 26: 6-4 win over Rangers (Cliff Lee)*
* Indicates games Liriano started
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but these are the types of pitchers the Twins will face in any potential playoff series. And it shouldn't come as a surprise, with one of the best offenses in baseball, that the Twins are finding ways to win these games.