Liriano, Milone solid in first spring action

Liriano, Milone solid in first spring action

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A Carlos Quentin go-ahead single in the top of the ninth inning was canceled out by an Adam Frazier RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, resulting in a 2-2 tie between the Twins and Pirates on Friday afternoon.

Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano threw two perfect innings in his first start of the spring. Liriano, who struck out four, needed only 23 pitches to retire the six Twins hitters he faced. Liriano said he threw his fastball, changeup and slider throughout his quick start.

Liriano's hitless spring start

"Trying to work on everything, trying to get myself ready for the season. I'm one of those guys who doesn't like to work on one thing," Liriano said. "I like to throw everything early so I can get it going before the season starts."

Twins lefty Tommy Milone, competing for the final spot in Minnesota's rotation, quickly gave up a run as the Pirates continued to force the issue on the basepaths. Josh Harrison hit a leadoff single to begin the game and stole second, moved to third on a Gregory Polanco single and scored on Starling Marte's RBI triple off the right-field wall.

Marte's RBI triple

Milone settled down after that, striking out two and allowing one hit in a scoreless second inning.

"Felt pretty good overall," Milone said. "I was able to slow down a little bit. I think I was rushing my delivery and then just started making more pitches."

The Twins tied the game in the fourth inning against Pirates reliever Neftali Feliz. Eduardo Nunez led off the inning with a triple and scored on Kennys Vargas' single to center field.

Vargas' RBI single

Up next for Twins: Ervin Santana will take the ball on Saturday when the Twins host a Baltimore Orioles split-squad team at CenturyLink Complex at 12:05 p.m. CT on MLB.TV. The veteran right-hander went 7-5 with a 4.00 ERA in 17 starts after receiving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The Orioles will counter with righty Tyler Wilson.

Up next for the Pirates: The Bucs are taking the kids (well, prospects) to Disney World on Saturday, with several of their top young pitchers lined up to face the Braves at 1:05 p.m. ET at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Right-hander Tyler Glasnow will make the start, and he's expected to be followed by a slew of pitching prospects: Jameson Taillon, Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams. Right-hander Bud Norris will start for Atlanta. The game can be heard on an exclusive webcast through MLB.com.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.