Illness causes Francisco Liriano’s early exit

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9:25 p.m. EDT: The Twins said it was actually Liriano’s recent illness that caused his departure after three innings.  Liriano, who was originally supposed to pitch Monday, was pushed back until today because of a sore throat and other flu-like symptoms.

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Francisco Liriano was checked on by the Twins trainer with an apparent leg issue during an intentional walk in the third inning Tuesday and didn’t come back out for the fourth against the Tigers.

Liriano, who was coming off a no-hitter against the White Sox, gave up a two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta in the second inning, snapping his streak of hitless innings.  He went on to give up two more runs after the intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera in the third.

Liriano appeared to tweak the knee of his landing leg on the second pitch of the intentional walk, which ended up quite a bit higher and further off the plate than expected.  After two warmup throws, he made it clear he was fine to stay in.  However, given his struggles and history of arm problems, the Twins probably didn’t want to risk anything by letting him come back out for another inning.  He had thrown just 29 of his 59 pitches for strikes.

Brian Duensing, who was on his throw day in between starts, came in to begin the fourth inning with the Twins down 4-0.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.