Pitching against his old team in his first start for his new one, Francisco Liriano allowed two runs in six innings and struck out eight as the White Sox beat the Twins 4-3 on Tuesday.
The game was tied 2-2 after the top of the seventh, so Liriano didn’t factor into the decision. The White Sox won it in the ninth after A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer. The Twins came back with one in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough.
Liriano struck out his old batterymate, Joe Mauer, twice on the night. White Sox manager Robin Ventura let him throw 113 pitches, his high total for the season. He’s thrown more pitches just three times in his career; 117 on June 23, 2009, 123 on May 2, 2010 and 123 on May 3, 2011 (his no-hitter against the White S0x).
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.