|Minnesota (42-40) «||0||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||x||4||10||0|
Liriano fought to finish that seventh inning, though, just as the Twins did following a draining 16-inning defeat the night before.
Justin Morneau had four hits, including a homer and the tying single in the seventh, and Minnesota beat Detroit 4-3 on Saturday.
"You play that many innings, it's a great bounce back to come and win this ballgame," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Ordonez's three-run homer spoiled an otherwise stellar start by Liriano, but Morneau capped the rally with his hit in the bottom of the inning. Then in the eighth against Brandon Lyon (3-4), Nick Punto poked a soft single over the outstretched glove of shortstop Adam Everett to allow pinch-runner Matt Tolbert time to score on a head-first slide just ahead of the relay throw.
"The guy's fast," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He read the ball well, got a good break on it."
Their relievers exhausted, the Twins needed the old Liriano more than ever. Despite the devastating seventh, he did deliver the kind of performance that has been there only sporadically since his sensational rookie season and subsequent elbow surgery in 2006.
"He's getting there," Gardenhire said, adding: "That's the Liriano we need."
Liriano struck out eight and recorded 13 straight outs during the middle innings he's had so much trouble with this year and took a 2-0 advantage into the seventh. After two quick singles to start the frame, however, he lost the lead.
The unfamiliarly shorn Ordonez, in a season-long slump that has worsened on this road trip, crushed a first-pitch fastball over the center-field wall to make it 3-2. Liriano immediately hung his head and stared at the turf for several seconds, hands on his knees.
"Sometimes I put too much pressure on myself, trying to do too much instead of throwing nice and easy and making one pitch at a time," Liriano said.
Because the bullpen threw a combined 13 innings the game before, Liriano knew it was imperative he stay on the mound later than he has been. He intentionally threw a lot of first-pitch strikes, which ultimately hurt him in the seventh. Changing his approach when the situation dictates it remains his biggest challenge.
"That's when he needs to step back and make an adjustment and use some other pitches," Gardenhire said.
Tigers starter Edwin Jackson, who brought the league's second-best earned run average into the game, also gave up a home run to Michael Cuddyer in the fourth and got one out in the seventh before being removed. He got an animated pat on the shoulder from Leyland after striking out Brendan Harris following a leadoff walk drawn by Denard Span, but the late lapse in control was costly.
"That's a pesky team. That's a team that when you go out, you now you're going to have to battle against them. Those two guys, they're great hitters," Jackson said.
Jackson threw 122 pitches.
"It was one of those games where you have to go out there and gut when you don't really have your best stuff," Jackson said.
|Matt Tolbert beats the tag by catcher Dusty Ryan to score the go-ahead run for Minnesota. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Curtis Granderson, CF||4||0||0||0||0||3||0||.255|
|Placido Polanco, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.255|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.324|
|Marcus Thames, DH||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.255|
|Ryan Raburn, LF||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.279|
|a- Don Kelly, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.273|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.269|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||3||1||2||3||0||1||0||.266|
|Dusty Ryan, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.143|
|Adam Everett, SS||2||0||0||0||1||1||2||.272|
|a-struck out for Raburn in the 9th|
|2B - Magglio Ordonez (10, Liriano)|
|HR - Magglio Ordonez (4, Liriano)|
|RBI - Magglio Ordonez 3 (28)|
|CS - Adam Everett (2, 2nd base by Liriano/Morales)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Bobby Seay (BS,3)||0.1||2||0||0||0||0||0||3.20|
|Brandon Lyon (L,3-4)||1.1||2||1||1||0||1||0||3.92|
|Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 122-68, Bobby Seay 12-6, Brandon Lyon 18-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 3-7, Bobby Seay 1-0, Brandon Lyon 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 29, Bobby Seay 3, Brandon Lyon 6|
|Denard Span, CF-LF||4||1||0||0||1||0||4||.288|
|Brendan Harris, SS||5||0||0||0||0||3||2||.274|
|Joe Mauer, DH||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.390|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||4||1||4||2||0||0||0||.320|
|Jason Kubel, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.299|
|Carlos Gomez, PR-CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.224|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||3||1||1||1||1||1||2||.281|
|Brian Buscher, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.198|
|Matt Tolbert, PR-3B||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.184|
|Jose Morales, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.349|
|Nick Punto, 2B||3||0||2||1||1||1||1||.217|
|2B - Justin Morneau (22, Jackson)|
|HR - Justin Morneau (20, Jackson), Michael Cuddyer (13, Jackson)|
|RBI - Justin Morneau 2 (67), Michael Cuddyer (45), Nick Punto (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau (20)|
|SB - Nick Punto (7, 2nd base off Jackson/Ryan)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Matt Guerrier (W,4-0)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.58|
|Joe Nathan (S,22)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.35|
|Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 103-65, Matt Guerrier 12-10, Joe Nathan 15-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 3-9, Matt Guerrier 1-1, Joe Nathan 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 27, Matt Guerrier 3, Joe Nathan 3|
|Attendance - 27238|
|Game Time - 2:49|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Eric Cooper|