The Twins' playoff hopes were dealt a devastating blow Monday when Francisco Liriano
's elbow soreness flared for the second straight start, sidelining him indefinitely. The Twins haven't added him to the disabled list yet, but it may happen as early as Tuesday.
Liriano first began experiencing soreness in the forearm muscle near the elbow in his previous start 10 days earlier. After it resurfaced in his between-starts bullpen session, the team made the decision to skip his turn in the rotation last Wednesday.
An MRI showed no structural damage and by Friday, he was deemed recovered and ready to pitch Monday.
But Monday in Detroit, he lasted just four innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits as he tried to persevere. After the game, he appeared near tears as he described a pain that seemed to have deepened.
"It bothered me every pitch I threw," said Liriano, who nonetheless reached 96 mph at times on a Detroit scoreboard radar reading, one that is generally considered to be slightly inflated.
"If we lose him out of the rotation, sure, it's a tough blow," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But you know what? We've been through a lot here, and it's not going to be the end of this baseball team, no matter which way we go."
Liriano was to be examined by a team doctor in Minnesota after the team returns home Wednesday night.
REPLAY: Whether Francisco Liriano's returning elbow injury derails the Twins' season, it spelled the end of the Twins' franchise-record-tying road winning streak. Liriano gave up four runs on 10 hits in just four innings before the pain forced him from the game, and the Detroit Tigers went on to beat the Twins 9-3 in the opener of a three-game series at Detroit on Monday night.
It snapped the Twins' four-game winning streak overall and their streak of eight straight wins on the road. Detroit, meanwhile, improved to 7-0 against the Twins at Comerica Park this season, outscoring the Twins 55-11 in those games.
NOTES, QUOTES:The Twins announced Tuesday that RHP Matt Garza, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, would be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to make Friday's start. General manager Terry Ryan traveled to Rochester on Monday and did not have a chance to talk with manager Ron Gardenhire about the team's pitching plans for the rest of the week, particularly in light of LHP Francisco Liriano's elbow injury. That talk was expected to happen Tuesday morning, after which at least a pair of roster moves could be announced. Garza leads all minor leaguers with 14 victories and 154 strikeoutsC Joe Mauer's home run on Monday was his 10th of the season, establishing a new career high and representing one more than he hit in three minor league seasons.OF/DH Rondell White was expected to play for the first time in more than a week as the Twins' DH on Tuesday in Detroit. White has been out since leaving Sunday's game early with a tight hamstring. The hamstring is healed, but manager Ron Gardenhire has taken a slow and cautious approach to bringing back White, who was hitting .373 with three homers since the All-Star break.DH Erubiel Durazo, the veteran the Twins signed last month to a minor league contract, was released by the club after hitting .264 with one home run in 17 games.When the Twins had six players record at least three hits in Sunday's game at Kansas City, that set a club record.
In this edition of Twins Inside Pitch, the day has finally come that Matt Garza gets promoted to Minnesota, but how healthy is Francisco Liriano? Also, Joe Mauer sets a career high with his tenth home run of the season, and the Twins part ways with veteran Erubiel Durazo.
An inside look at the Minnesota Twins.
Garza will make his fourth stop of the season.