Liriano Makes First Major League Start

Francisco Liriano made his first career Major League start against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, signaling the start of what should be a fine Major League career. Liriano dominated at the Triple-A level this season, posting a 1.78 ERA in 14 starts.

Francisco Liriano made his first career Major League start against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, signaling the start of what should be a fine Major League career. Liriano dominated at the Triple-A level this season, posting a 1.78 ERA in 14 starts.

Liriano made himself an obvious choice as a September call-up throughout the second half of the Minor League season, and finished the year as the Minor League leader in strikeouts with 204. In 2006, he should fit right into the Twins' rotation, along side fellow Rochester Red Wing Scott Baker.

Liriano had an impressive debut against the Tigers, going five innings, and allowing only two hits. He did give up a two-run home run to Curtis Granderson, but he struck out six, showcasing his blazing fastball and excellent breaking stuff.

The loss squandered the Twins opportunity for a sweep, and they are now eight games back in the Wildcard hunt. They have an off-day on Thursday, but then start a three-game tilt with the White Sox at home on Friday.

With the Twins seemingly out of the playoff race, Manager Ron Gardenhire's decision to give Liriano a start is just at the right time. There is no extreme pressure on him to pick up a win, and to have your first start against the lowly Detroit Tigers is another plus.

While Liriano did not get the win, picking up a no-decision, the Twins should give him at least one more start before the season ends. He is part of their future, and he would be much more comfortable going into Spring Training with a few Major League starts under his belt.

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