The surprising Chicago White Sox have made a move to stay on top of the AL Central, acquiring left-hander Francisco Liriano from division rival Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
The Twins will receive infielder Eduardo Escobar and lefty prospect Pedro Hernandez. The White Sox tweeted the news after the Twins beat the Cleveland Indians and Chicago won in Texas.
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An All-Star in 2006, Liriano was expected to be one of the Twins' top starters before undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery later that same year. His career has since been plagued by inconsistency and injury.
He pitched a no-hitter last year against the White Sox but was 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA for 2011.
This year Liriano struggled at the start, and was demoted to the bullpen after his ERA rose to 9.45 in early May. He has brought that number down to 5.31 in 11 starts since his return to the rotation but still is 3-10 this season. He has walked 55 and struck out 109 -- including a 15 K game on July 13, a 6-3 loss.
The 28-year-old Liriano is 50-52 with a 4.33 ERA in his career.
Liriano, scheduled to be a free agent after this season, adds depth to a rotation headed by All-Star left-hander Chris Sale, right-handers Jake Peavy and Phil Humber and lefty Jose Quintana, who is 4-1 with a 2.58 ERA filling in for injured John Danks.
Under first-year manager Robin Ventura, Chicago has a 2½-game lead over the Detroit Tigers, favored to win the division.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Liriano will stay in Minnesota until the White Sox arrive from Texas after Sunday's game. Both Escobar and Hernandez will go to Triple-A Rochester.
Brian Duensing will start for Minnesota Sunday in place of Liriano.
Escobar, 23, was hitting .207 (18 for 87) with four doubles and three RBIs in 36 games for the White Sox.
Hernandez is also 23. He has split time at Double- and Triple-A this year, going 8-2 with a 2.94 ERA. He made his big league debut against Boston on July 18 and allowed eight runs in four innings.