Twins 1, White Sox 0: Liriano throws a no-hitter

Forget about hits - Francisco Liriano entered the game allowing more than one earned run per inning.

So the White Sox forgot about hits, and Liriano made history on a chilly Chicago night.

The man who entered the game with a 9.13 ERA and his job on the line pitched a no-hitter, the first to achieve the feat against the Sox since Bret Saberhagen on Aug. 27, 1991. And he didn't even have the courtesy to look good doing it.

Liriano walked six batters over his nine innings, and only struck out two. He his changeup was working most of the night, but he didn't have any consistency with his fastball or slider location. Yet the White Sox didn't really sting a ball until Adam Dunn with two outs in the ninth inning - and unfortunately it was drilled directly at shortstop Matt Tolbert to end the game.

The Twins' defense deserves more credit. Danny Valencia robbed Carlos Quentin of at least a single when he made a backhanded stab of a Carlos Quentin chopper down the line. His throw beat Quentin by a step. Earlier in the game, Quentin had another possible hit taken away by Denard Span, who ran down his backspin-laden drive to the gap.

Throw in a nice Justin Morneau pick on Tolbert's poor throw to start the ninth, and combine it with an ice-cold White Sox offense that has now officially hit rock bottom, and Liriano had the ingredients for a night he'll never forget.

The White Sox also played good defense. Brent Morel made three plays of above-average difficulty at third base, and Gordon Beckham took an error off Edwin Jackson's tab. After making a nice effort to field Alexi Casilla's bunt, Jackson had to rush the throw, and he bounced it past Paul Konerko. Beckham backed it up big-time -- running it down by the sidewall and making a perfect throw to second to nail Casilla cleanly.

Jackson looked better himself, although Colin thinks he was tipping his slider. He just made one mistake, and he paid handsomely for it. His 1-2 slider broke right into Jason Kubel's sweet spot, and the Twins' only hot hitter put it into the Bullpen Sports Bar for the only run of the game.

Kubel singlehandedly outproduced the Sox's starting nine. Juan Pierre provided the only offensive highlight with a successful steal of second. He swiped the bag after one of his three walks, or half the Sox's total output.

The Sox did ground into three double plays - although to give them some credit, it should have only been two. The last one hurt - Gordon Beckham hit a grounder to third, but Casilla's relay toss pulled Justin Morneau well off the bag. Beckham ran past his attempt at a swipe tag. From the angle of first base umpire Paul Emmel, he saw the glove hit Beckham's back, I guess, and that ended the eighth inning.

If Beckham were called safe, though, it probably would have only extended the no-hitter one extra batter. And given that Paul Konerko was trying way too hard and chasing pitches himself, I wouldn't have liked his odds, either.

Record: 11-20 | Box score | Play-by-play

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