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Liriano finds nifty way to save his job, pitching a no-hitter

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Notes, Quotes · Liriano finds nifty way to save his job, pitching a no-hitter · Roster Report

Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano was pitching for his spot in the rotation Tuesday night in Chicago. Throwing a no-hitter was a pretty good way to keep his job.

Liriano became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the majors this season, the first Twins pitcher to throw a no hitter since Eric Milton in 1999, and the fifth pitcher in Twins history to accomplish the feat as Minnesota beat the White Sox 1-0.

The outing wasn't especially brilliant, as Liriano walked six batters and struck out only two, but he was brilliant enough, making his first complete game at any professional level a no-hitter. Liriano threw 123 pitches, tying his career high set last year in an seven-inning, three-run start against Cleveland, and 66 of them were for strikes. After recording the 27th out of the game, a liner to shortstop, Liriano mostly looked relieved the game was over.

With a 9.13 ERA entering the game, the lefty knew his starting role was on the line.

"I think it's a big weight off his shoulders," pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "He (was) up against it. If a guy says he's not pressing, he's lying."

Anderson thought Liriano was lying about another thing: The lefty claimed he did not realize he was throwing a no-hitter until the eighth inning.

"Everybody was walking away from me and nobody was talking to me," Liriano said, "so I was like, 'What's going on?'"

The Twins needed the win as badly as Liriano did. They brought a six-game losing streak and the major's worst record into Tuesday's game and were in a desperate search of something to jump-start their season.

"You look at our offense, our pitching and our bullpen, they have to be pressing. So it was a big weight off his shoulders, and he can go out and finish with his starts and be successful," Anderson said. "I'm excited as can be about the no-hitter, but I'm even more excited the confidence is there. I can't wait for the next start. And that's what he needed -- confidence."

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AVGMiguel Sano , 3B.292
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