Entering Tuesday's game, Francisco Liriano was 1-4 with a 9.13 ERA, allowing 10.3 hits per nine innings. Tuesday, he didn't allow a single hit.
That's the beauty of baseball -- while your numbers may give you an idea of what's expected, they have no bearing on what's going to happen on any given day.
Liriano has looked unhittable at times in his career, but Tuesday wasn't one of them. He struck out just two batters, and just 66 of his 123 pitches were for strikes. But he still became the fifth Minnesota Twin to throw a no-hitter.
The 27-year-old had never thrown a complete game until Tuesday, his 95th career start.
Not only was a no-hitter on the line in the ninth, so was the game, with Minnesota clinging to a 1-0 lead. Shortstop Matt Tolbert had to rush on Brent Morel's grounder leading off the ninth, but Justin Morneau was able to come up with the one-hop throw and get Morel at first for the out. Liriano then walked Pierre before Alexi Ramirez popped out to Tolbert and then after going 3-0 to Adam Dunn, Dunn hit a liner to Tolbert on a full count to start the celebration.
There were other close calls --Liriano got help to end the seventh, when third baseman Danny Valencia made a nice play to get Carlos Quentin. Quentin hit a chopper down the third-base line that Valencia fielded in foul territory. He then set his feet and made a strong throw to get Quentin.
The Twins also dodged a bullet in the eight, when a bad call at first ended the inning. Justin Morneau missed a tag on Gordon Beckham at first at the tail end of a double play, but he was called out.
Liriano had pitched so poorly this season, the team was stretching out Kevin Slowey in the minor leagues in case they needed to replace Liriano in the rotation.White Sox starter Edwin Jackson, who threw a no-hitter last season for the Diamondbacks, pitched well, too. He gave up one run on six hits, while walking just one and striking out two. Minnesota's lone run came on a Jason Kubel home run in the fourth.
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