By Joe Christensen
What a clunker. With Detroit’s loss, the Twins missed a chance to pull within one game of first place in the AL Central tonight, as they fell to Pittsburgh 8-2.
Andy and Adam LaRoche became the first brothers to hit a home run in the same game for the Pirates since Lloyd and Paul Waner last did it on Sept. 13, 1938. (The Waners did it three times.)
The Twins finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, including costly at-bats by Delmon Young and Jason Kubel with a runner on third base and less than two outs.
I focused my game story on Francisco Liriano’s repeated struggles the second time through the batting order. But Liriano does have a 3.79 ERA over his past three starts with no wins to show for it.
“You see light out there because he’s actually doing OK,” Manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He got through the seventh inning — four runs, two bad pitches — and gave us an opportunity to get back in the game. We just missed a lot of chances. Some really poor at-bats. First-pitch swinging with a man on third, tapping it back to the mound, that’s just not going to cut it.”
Head to La Velle’s blog for Thursday’s starting lineups (first pitch: 12:10 p.m.), as the Twins try to win the series behind Nick Blackburn, who has a 1.80 ERA in his past five starts.