Detroit Tigers’ Francisco Liriano pitches two scoreless innings in spring debut
By MARK DIDTLER
LAKELAND, Fla. — Detroit left-hander Francisco Liriano threw two scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in his first start with a new team.
Liriano allowed one hit, walked two and struck out three in the Tigers’ 7-2 loss Tuesday.
Liriano worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first by striking out Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez. He induced a double-play grounder from Miguel Andujar to end the second.
“My main focus this year is to eliminate the walks and make something happen in three pitches or less,” Liriano said. “That’s what I’m working on right now. I missed my spots a little bit in my first outing. Trying too hard to prove something in the first outing but I got the first one out of the way and hopefully I’ll be better in the next one.”
The Tigers agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with Liriano on Feb. 23, giving the Tigers added pitching depth.
The 34-year-old was 6-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 18 starts last season with Toronto and 20 relief appearances with World Series champion Houston, which acquired him at the July 31 trade deadline. He is 102-99 in a 12-year big league career.
“I’m just happy to be healthy and go out there and pitch and have fun,” Liriano said.
Liriano can earn $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts.
“Maybe a little less velocity, but his velocity is still good,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “His changeup is phenomenal. He’s going to throw pitches, we know that. He’s going to fire inside and outside but he’s got great stuff and that changeup is still dominating.”
Also, Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, scratched from a start Sunday because of elbow discomfort, is scheduled to take mound Friday against the New York Mets.