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Pirates' bats can't overcome Liriano's disastrous inning

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates got 13 hits, and one even landed on a boat, but it wasn't enough to overcome a disastrous second inning and a seven-run deficit as the Bucs lost to the Twins, 8-5.

Brian Dozier hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Pirates in an early hole, then the Twins struck for six runs in the second. Francisco Liriano was finished after the second inning, with seven runs on five hits, two walks and two strikeouts.

Liriano gave up a single to Kurt Suzuki and a walk to Aaron Hicks to begin the second, but started to wiggle off the hook, getting outs from the next two batters. Then he hit Danny Santana with a pitch and walked Dozier. The roof fell in when Joe Mauer hit a three-run single. Starling Marte played the ball nonchalantly, and Dozier hustled all the way from first to put the Twins up 7-0.

The Pirates didn't roll over, but they never bunched enough hits together, not scoring more than one run in an inning. They countered quickly in the bottom of the second when Jung-Ho Kang scored on a pinch-hit single from Jose Tabata. Tabata got one of the warmest ovations I can ever remember him getting, which was strange.

Pedro Alvarez blasted a ball onto a boat on the Allegheny River -- the third home run ever to reach the river on the fly (though, technically, it didn't hit the water) -- in the fourth. Neil Walker singled and scored in the fifth. Josh Harrison had a home run overturned to a double, and he scored on Walker's double in the sixth. Marte walked and scored in the seventh.

The Pirates left 10 men on base, though, never capitalizing on an inning enough to pose a serious threat to the Twins' lead.

Blaine Boyer ended the Pirates' offensive run, inducing a double play to end the seventh-inning threat and setting them down in order in the eighth. Glen Perkins faced little trouble in the ninth.

The bullpen was a plus for the Pirates. Radhames Liz let in one run in the third, but Vance Worley (in his first relief appearance of the season), Arquimedes Caminero, Jared Hughes and Antonio Bastardo combined to keep the Twins quiet over the final five innings.

It was a strange game in that the Pirates did do pretty well overall, a disastrous inning being the exception but also their downfall. There were positives you'd hope to see -- Harrison, Kang, the bullpen. The Twins are doing well this season, but they're a team you'd hope the Pirates could start to turn it around against instead of lamenting a bad inning for one of their better starters.