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Second NoHitter Eludes Liriano – SportsUntapped.com
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Added June 13th, 2011 by Chalk

Second No-Hitter Eludes Liriano
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For the second time this season, Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano took a no-hitter into the eighth inning.  On Sunday, Liriano couldn’t quite finish the job, falling short of his second no-hitter of the year when he allowed a lead-off single to Texas Rangers slugger Adrian Beltre in the top of the eighth inning in Minnesota’s 6-1 home win at Target Field.

Back on May 3, Liriano walked six batters during his first no-hitter, but on Sunday, he walked none and was perfect through the first 19 batters before Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus reached on an error in the seventh. Perhaps more impressive, Liriano was protecting a one-run lead through the first seven innings.

Ironically, it may have been Liriano’s own teammates who helped prevent his no-hitter as they took 29 minutes to score five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Liriano said that the long wait messed with his head. “It didn’t bother me physically, but I started thinking too much about that no-hitter,” said the Twins lefty. “I tried to overthrow that inning and was trying to be too perfect. And I then [gave up] a hit when I got behind in the count.”

Liriano gave up another hit and an earned run in the eighth, but struck out nine while walking none over his eight innings of work as he improved to 4-6 on the year. Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson thinks Liriano’s first seven innings were another indication of how dominant his pitcher can be when he’s clicking on all cylinders. “As you saw for seven innings today, he was under control of everything and in control of his pitches and his body,” said Anderson. “He went out in the eighth, after a long inning, and started rushing everything again. But if he keeps himself under control and uses all of his pitches, he’s as good as they get.

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