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09/23/09 8:28 PM ET
Liriano likely to start Sunday against KC
Lefty to sub for struggling Manship in series finale
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- It appears that Francisco Liriano will get another shot in the rotation this season after all. Following Jeff Manship's rough start on Tuesday night in Chicago, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Wednesday that he's likely going to start Liriano in place of Manship in Sunday's series finale at Kansas City. Liriano replaced Manship with one out in the third inning on Tuesday night. The left-hander allowed one run over his 2 1/3 innings of relief, but he really impressed catcher Joe Mauer with the way the ball was coming out of his hand. "Frankie is probably the most likely choice," Gardenhire said of Sunday's starter. "Start him and go from there. I think Frankie would like that idea, too." Just how much the Twins will be able to get out of Liriano in the start is unclear. He has been pitching in relief following his return from a stint on the disabled list with left arm fatigue. Since his last start on Aug. 17, he has only thrown a total of 5 2/3 innings in three relief appearances. Tuesday's outing for Liriano was the most he had thrown since a seven-inning start on Aug. 12 against Kansas City. "How many innings could we get out of him? I don't know," Gardenhire said. "He hasn't thrown a lot of innings lately, but he was throwing good last night, so we'll see." As for whether Liriano might remain in the rotation for another turn following Sunday's start, Gardenhire said the club will have to see how he fares in the role.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.