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Updated: August 4th, 2011 11:47pm
Twins Daily: Another shaky outing for Liriano in loss to Angels

Twins Daily: Another shaky outing for Liriano in loss to Angels

by Phil Mackey
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Another shaky outing for Francisco Liriano left the Minnesota Twins in a deep hole that they were unable to dig out of on Thursday night in a 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

The skinny

Any momentum Liriano gained with a solid outing against Oakland last weekend has flown out the window.

The left-hander was touched up for seven earned runs on 10 hits and two walks in just five innings, with the big blow coming off the bat of Mark Trumbo, who delivered a three-run blast in the third inning that put the Angels up 5-0.

The Twins offense managed only one run -- a solo blast by Jim Thome -- off Angels starter Dan Haren, who struck out six while walking none and allowing only five hits in eight innings.

After splitting a four-game series with the Texas Rangers to start the road trip, the Twins dropped two out of three to the A's and Angels.

Turning point

The Twins were likely losing this game regardless of what happened in the second inning, but a fielding gaffe by second baseman Michael Cuddyer helped put the Angels on the board.

With a runner on first and nobody out, Cuddyer fielded Mark Trumbo's groundball a couple steps from second base, stepped on the bag for the force, but then fired wide to first base, pulling Joe Mauer up the line. The ball glanced off Mauer's glove as he attempted to make a swipe tag in one motion.

Instead of having two outs and nobody on base, the Angels still had some semblance of a rally going, and after Erick Aybar struck out swinging for what would have been the third out, Peter Bourjos and Jeff Mathis each delivered two-out, RBI hits to put the Halos up 2-0.

Numbers game

59: Walks issued out this season by Liriano. He walked 58 all of last season.

11: Home runs allowed by Liriano. He allowed nine last season.

598: Career home runs for Thome.

4-6: The Twins' record on the 10-game road trip.

Health report

• 1B Justin Morneau (neck surgery, wrist) was cleared to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Friday.

On deck

The Twins enter this weekend's home series against the White Sox 1.5 games behind the White Sox for third place in the American League Central. Friday's match-up (7:10 p.m., 1500 ESPN) features right-hander Nick Blackburn (7-8, 4.49) against left-hander Mark Buehrle (8-5, 3.21).

Blackburn has been flat-out terrible since the end of June, posting an 8.37 ERA with 58 hits allowed and 13 walks issued in 33 1/3 innings. His ERA has risen from 3.15 to 4.49 over that stretch.

Buehrle has pitched well against the Twins in two outings this season, allowing only one earned run in 15 innings, and he has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last 15 starts.

Coming up

• Saturday: vs. White Sox, 6:10 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (6-8, 4.90) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (4-5, 5.13).
• Sunday: vs. White Sox, 1:10 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (8-9, 4.50) vs. LHP John Danks (4-9, 3.90).
• Monday: vs. Red Sox, 6:10 p.m. RHP Scott Baker (8-6, 3.01) vs. LHP Andrew Miller (4-1, 5.44).

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd