TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Francisco Liriano was stellar, again.
Liriano gave up four hits over five shutout innings in the Minnesota Twins’ 6-4 loss to a New York Yankees split squad on Friday.
“Pitching is all about location,” Liriano said. “I think I’ve been locating my pitches better than last year. My fastball, change up, slider, everything is working pretty good.”
Coming off five hitless innings against Pittsburgh last Sunday, Liriano struck out five and walked one.
“Things are going the way I want them to right now,” Liriano said.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter had a hit and made a nice defensive play in his return from a stiff left calf. The team captain didn’t play for eight days.
“Everything was fine,” said Jeter, who played three innings. “I’m not stealing bases right now. Be smart about it. This is still spring training.”
Jeter, expected to play five innings on Sunday, singled in the first and went into the hole to field a grounder and throw out Brian Dozier during the third.
New York’s Ivan Nova went seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. The right-hander retired 12 in a row before allowing a leadoff double to Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham’s two-run homer to start the fifth.
Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain had surgery after dislocating his right ankle while playing with his son Thursday. There is no timetable for his return.
New York closer Mariano Rivera needed just seven pitches for a perfect eighth, and extended his streak of not allowing an earned run in spring training — dating back to 2008 — to 26 consecutive innings.
Eduardo Nunez had three hits, including a two-run double during a five-run seventh off Twins reliever Jeff Manship, who was charged with six runs in one-plus innings.
Liriano struck out Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez in the first, and also fanned A-Rod during the fourth. He induced double-play grounders from Jeter and Russell Martin in the third and fourth, respectively.