Liriano pitches Twins over Yankees

February 28, 2009 4:02:52 PM PST
Francisco Liriano felt good after his first spring training start, and that was all that mattered to the left-hander. Liriano allowed three runs - two earned - and four hits over two innings and the Minnesota Twins beat the New York Yankees 7-3 on Saturday.

"The first game, missed a couple pitches," Liriano said. "My arm feels great."

Last season, Liriano got off to a rocky start while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was in Triple-A from mid-April to the beginning of August, then came back and went 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA.

"I just want to be healthy this year," Liriano said.

Liriano didn't use his slider as much last season, which team officials feel helped with the development of his changeup.

"I was working on it down at Triple-A," Liriano said. "I'm going to throw more changeups and fastballs this year."

Liriano went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 2006. He was put on the disabled list in August of that year when his elbow problem worsened, and then had surgery that November.

Carlos Gomez hit a solo homer, and Brian Buscher went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs for the Twins, who beat the Yankees for the second consecutive day.

New York right-hander Joba Chamberlain gave up two runs and three hits over one inning in his first spring start. He will go two innings in his next outing Thursday.

"It was good," Chamberlain said. "We're just focusing on the fastball early, especially with spring training being 10 days longer. It felt good coming out of my hand."

New York third baseman Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly.

Rodriguez is scheduled to meet with Major League Baseball officials on Sunday to discuss his admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 while with Texas.

The timing of the meeting was disclosed Friday by a baseball official with knowledge of the session who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.

"I know he's supposed to meet with them shortly. I'm not exactly sure what the day is," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Saturday. "He talked to me a little bit today about it, but he's hoping it's not tomorrow."

Rodriguez is on the travel roster for Sunday's game against Cincinnati. He is scheduled to join the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team on Monday.

"I should be (able to play Sunday) unless I hear otherwise," Rodriguez said. "I'm on the road trip, 9 o'clock bus. Anything is possible. I should be on that bus."

MLB wants to speak with Rodriguez about security issues involving a trainer from the Dominican Republic and the cousin the three-time MVP said injected him with a banned substance called "boli."

Rodriguez declined to comment about his upcoming meeting.

"I'm not going there, guys," he said.

The meeting will be in the Tampa area, where the Yankees hold spring training, and is intended to be non-disciplinary in nature.

Rodriguez will be accompanied by a personal lawyer and representative of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

"I think you have to be a little bit concerned anytime you're going in front of Major League Baseball," Girardi said.

Notes: New York DH Jorge Posada was scratched from the starting lineup because of minor soreness in his surgically repaired right shoulder. The catcher could resume throwing on Monday. ... Former Yankees LHP David Wells visited the clubhouse before the game.

Wells is a baseball broadcaster for TNT this season. ... New York LHP CC Sabathia will pitch in a simulated game on Sunday. The expected opening-day starter is scheduled to make his first spring start Friday.