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Twins Beat Pirates 2-1 In Pitchers' Duel

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Presswire

A pitchers' duel between Francisco Liriano and Erik Bedard ended in a 2-1 win for the Twins.

Liriano allowed one run and had six strikeouts in 6.2 innings, while Bedard had seven whiffs in six innings. (Despite his overall line, Liriano has pitched very well in his past several starts; it's a shame the Pirates had to face the good version.) Bedard allowed his run in the first, when Josh Willingham hit a two-out double and Trevor Plouffe dropped a single into the gap to bring him home. Bedard left the bases loaded that inning when he got Jamey Carroll to line out.

The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but only managed one run, on a sacrifice fly by Rod Barajas -- Barajas crushed the ball into the left-center gap, but Denard Span made a spectacular diving catch that kept the Pirates from taking a lead. Willingham then homered off Jason Grilli in the top of the eighth to make it 2-1. Glen Perkins walked Pedro Alvarez to lead off the ninth, but unfortunately, perhaps the Pirates' two worst hitters, Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry, made outs immediately after. The Bucs only had Garrett Jones left on their bench, not the best choice to face the lefty Perkins, and Jones struck out to end it.

Much of the gamethread, naturally, revolved around Gerrit Cole's strong debut in Class AA Altoona -- he struck out six batters, walked none, and allowed two runs in five innings. I'll let WTM discuss that in detail in the minor-league recap.