Twins work trade to keep Rule 5 draft pick, Jason Jones

Posted on March 28th, 2009 – 8:37 AM
By Joe Christensen

FORT MYERS, FLA. — Francisco Liriano gets his second-to-last tuneup of the spring today, as the Twins face the Red Sox at City of Palms Park.

Liriano is 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA this spring and has allowed 14 hits and eight walks in 21 1/3 innings, notching 19 strikeouts.

Joe Nathan and Philip Humber are scheduled to pitch in relief. Humber has allowed one earned run in his last six appearances, spanning eight innings.

Update: The Twins traded Class A pitcher Charles Nolte to the Yankees today to acquire the rights of Rule 5 draft pick Jason Jones.

The Twins assigned Jones to Class AAA Rochester, where he will be part of the starting rotation.

Nolte went 4-3 with a 2.05 ERA in 44 relief appearances last season for Class A Beloit.

Jones went 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in seven games for the Twins this spring, allowing 11 hits and three walks in 10 innings.

Update: The Red Sox scored seven runs against Liriano in the third inning with home runs from Rocco Baldelli, David Ortiz and Jason Bay. Liriano threw 72 pitches in three innings, and Joe Nathan came in to pitch the fourth.

Luis Ayala pitched two innings against Class AAA Pawtucket today, allowing one unearned run with no walks and three strikeouts.

Update: Got an e-mail on this, and yes, there is a stiff wind blowing out to left field. That helped lift Ortiz’s liner over the left-field wall, but Baldelli crushed his over the scoreboard in left center, and Bay’s was hit a country mile to left.

Liriano did not use the wind as an excuse.

“When you get behind in the count, you get hurt, and that’s what happened today,” he said. “It’s one of those days, no matter what you throw, they’re going to hit it.”

Liriano will get one more start before spring training ends, likely Thursday against Boston again.

“I feel comfortable at this point, I’ve just gotta keep working on locating my fastball,” he said. ”That’s the main thing for me just locating my fastball, and everything’s going to be OK.”

TWINS

1. Denard Span, RF
2. Carlos Gomez, CF
3. Joe Crede, 3B
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Brian Buscher, 1B
7. Brendan Harris, SS
8. Mike Redmond, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

RED SOX

1. Rocco Baldelli, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. George Kottaras, C
9. Nick Green, RF

Starting pitcher: Brad Penny

City of Palms Park. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. (Central)

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