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Liriano leaves with arm discomfort after Tigers pound him

DETROIT (AP) -- Francisco Liriano still isn't healthy and he sure
didn't look it against the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers roughed up Liriano in a 9-3 rout Monday, and after
the game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced that left-hander is
still suffering from soreness in his throwing forearm.

"It's a muscular problem -- as the game was going on, he started
to feel it," Gardenhire said. "We had him checked out before, and
everything was fine, but we'll have him checked out again. It's
muscles, not his elbow."

After facing the Tigers on July 28, Liriano (12-3) missed his
next start because of inflammation in the forearm. The rest did not
seem to help, as he gave up four runs and a season-high 10 hits in
just four innings. He struck out five.

"It started bothering me in the second inning," said Liriano,
who was taken out after four innings. "It really bothered me. I
couldn't throw fastball, changeup, slider or anything."

Liriano has a 7.63 ERA against Detroit this season, more than
five times higher than his ERA (1.39) against the rest of the
majors, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland doesn't think his team has
found any answers.

"That young man has three strikeout pitches, when most guys are
lucky to have one," he said. "Trust me, we aren't comfortable
against him. When you throw 97, with that slider and that changeup,
he'll be in the league for a long time, and no one will ever be
comfortable against him."

Zach Miner (7-2) won the duel of rookie starters, allowing three
runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three and did
not walk a batter.

"Against that guy, you know you have to be on," he said.
"He's not going to give you many chances."

Marcus Thames hit a long homer and Magglio Ordonez drove in a
pair of runs for the Tigers, who have won four straight and six of
seven. Detroit (76-36) is now a season-best 40 games over .500.

"We knew before the season that we could win some games,"
Curtis Granderson said. "We didn't expect this."

The Twins had their four-game winning streak snapped and now
trail Detroit by 10½ games in the AL Central.

"Every time you make a mistake against that team, they make you
pay for it," Gardenhire said.

Liriano struck out batters with a runner on third to escape each
of the first two innings, but the Tigers got two runs in the third
and two more in the fourth.

Vance Wilson led off the third with a double, took third on a
groundout and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's two-out single. Ordonez
followed with a double to make it 2-0.

The Twins got a run back in the top of the fourth on an RBI
double by Justin Morneau, but Liriano continued to struggle.

Thames led off the fourth with a 442-foot shot to
left-centerfield, the longest homer this season at Comerica Park,
and Placido Polanco added an RBI single later in the inning.

Joe Mauer moved the Twins within 4-3 in the sixth with his 10th
homer, but the Twins failed to take advantage of a scoring chance
in the next inning.

Minnesota had runners on the corners with one out in the
seventh, but Jason Bartlett hit a soft liner that third baseman
Brandon Inge caught on the run. Inge then threw to first to double
off Jason Tyner.

"Those were probably the two biggest outs of the game,"
Leyland said. "You don't expect to get two in that situation -- not
with that guy running."

Detroit scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning to put
the game away. With one out, Ordonez had an RBI single and a second
run came home when right fielder Michael Cuddyer overran the ball.

After two walks, Granderson's two-out single scored Ordonez and
Carlos Guillen to give the Tigers a five-run lead.

Craig Monroe made it 9-3 with his 19th homer in the eighth
inning.

Game notes
The longest homer in Comerica Park history is 461 feet by
Carlos Pena last season. ... Liriano has allowed nine earned runs
in Detroit this season, only two fewer than he has given up at the
Metrodome. ... The Twins are 0-7 in Detroit this year. They entered
the season with a 32-20 record in Comerica Park's first six
seasons. ... Miner's win was the 27th by a Tigers rookie this year,
the most for Detroit since first-year pitchers also won 27 games in
1955. ... Bartlett had his nine-game hitting streak snapped.