Twins rookie Francisco Liri ano allowed two hits and...

September 18, 2005

Twins rookie Francisco Liri ano allowed two hits and struck out six in his first start on Wednesday.

EXTRA BASES

Say what?

"If he was Superman, he'd play defense."

Always quotable Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Josh Towers about Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning against Towers on Wednesday night. Towers was told by reporters that Ortiz wore a Superman belt after hitting two home runs two days earlier.

Who's he?

Francisco Liriano, 21-year-old left-hander with the Minnesota Twins. The Dominican Republic native started for the World Team in the annual Futures Classic in July. After compiling a 9-2 record and a 1.78 ERA at Triple-A Rochester, Liriano was called up this month and made two relief appearances before starting Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers. Possessing a mid-90s fastball, a polished changeup and curve, he struck out six and allowed just two hits and two runs in a five-inning no-decision. Not bad for the least-known player in the 2003 deal that also yielded the Twins closer Joe Nathan and minor league pitcher Boof Bonser from the San Francisco Giants for catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

Numbing number

600

That's how many starts (and appearances) New York Mets left-hander Tom Glavine has made in his career after pitching against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. All 600 have come in the National League since he debuted in 1987 with the Atlanta Braves. He tied Grover Cleveland Alexander for fourth all time in National League starts. Only Hall of Famers Steve Carlton and Warren Spahn and current Chicago Cub Greg Maddux have more.

What's up?

The penultimate week of the season gives the NL wild-card participants a break from head-to-head matchups. The Braves can virtually wrap up their 14th straight division title with a strong showing against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins. The Nationals host Barry Bonds and the Giants for a three-game series starting Tuesday. The Orioles can play spoiler with four games at Yankee Stadium starting tomorrow and then by hosting the Red Sox for three next weekend.

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