Twins send Liriano to an early exit, hold off Pirates late

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A six-run second inning lifted the Minnesota Twins to an 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

The night didn't go the way that former Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano had hoped. He gave up seven runs on five hits in just two innings for Pittsburgh.

Liriano was removed in the second inning, after his spot in the lineup came to the plate with the bases loaded.

Brian Dozier put the Twins on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the first inning. Minnesota added six more in the second, highlighted by a bases-clearing single with two outs by Joe Mauer.

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Trevor Plouffe then followed that up with a two-run home run which gave the Twins a 7-0 lead.

The run support was enough for Ricky Nolasco (4-1), who gave up four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings.

Down 8-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Pirates started chipping away. They scored a run in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to cut the Twins lead down to three at 8-5.

But Blaine Boyer threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Twins to keep the Pirates from getting any closer.

Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save.

Plouffe led the Twins at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run. Kurt Suzuki and Aaron Hicks also each had two hits.

Mike Pelfrey (3-1) takes the mound for the Twins against Pittsburgh lefty Jeff Locke (2-2) on Wednesday night.

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