CHICAGO -- Before Ozzie Guillen made his way to the U.S. Cellular Field Conference and Learning Center following Tuesday's 1-0 loss to the Twins, the White Sox manager had to stop and ask for a little advice.
He had been on the winning side for Mark Buehrle's no-hitter in 2007 and Buehrle's perfect game in '09, but he had never been on the losing side of a no-hitter as the White Sox man in charge. Never, that is, until Tuesday night.
Francisco Liriano, who was in some danger of losing his spot in the Twins' starting rotation, hurled the 13th no-hitter against the White Sox (11-20) in franchise history. Bret Saberhagen threw the last no-hitter against the South Siders on Aug. 26, 1991, in a 7-0 win for Kansas City, and Jack Morris no-hit the White Sox on April 7, 1984, at old Comiskey Park.
With his improbable two-strikeout, six-walk effort, Liriano (2-4) produced the Twins' seventh no-hitter and first since Eric Milton in 1999.
"When you throw a no-hitter, what can you tell anyone?" said Guillen, who seemed more stunned than angry after his team lost for the 16th time in its last 20 games and dropped to 1-8 over the last nine home games. "He was very effective. He was changing speeds. We were chasing his pitches. We hit a few balls hard, but in the meanwhile, it's another experience for me as a manager."
"Yeah, I was feeling great, making some good pitches," Liriano said. "I just went out there one pitch at a time, and one hitter at a time."
To complete the first no-hitter of the 2011 campaign, Liriano needed 123 pitches; just 66 of them went for strikes.
Edwin Jackson (2-4) made one mistake during his eight-inning effort, a 1-2 slider in the fourth resulting in Jason Kubel's third home run. Aside from that long ball, Jackson turned in his most effective start since striking out 13 during the team's home opener against the Rays.
Jackson knows a little bit about no-hitters, having thrown one for the D-backs last June 25 vs. Tampa Bay. That no-hitter took 149 pitches and included eight Jackson walks before Arizona prevailed in a 1-0 final.
This night belonged to Liriano, with Jackson's strong outing playing as the second act.
"It's just one of those games," said Jackson, who walked one and struck out two while giving up six hits. "He made his pitches when he needed to. He was great. He threw a no-hitter. Not too many words a guy can say. It's one of those tough games. Just continue to keep it pushing."
"That's the way we roll, I guess," Guillen said. "I don't think he could do anything wrong [against] us. Maybe he has struggled in the past or the few outings before, but he threw the ball very well today."
As for White Sox opportunities for hits off Liriano, who recorded 13 outs by fly ball, popout or line drive, there weren't many. Then again, this no-hitter was by no means a walk in the park for the southpaw.
Juan Pierre and Carlos Quentin drew walks in the first and second, respectively, with both erased by double plays. Liriano walked Pierre and Paul Konerko to put two runners on base with two outs in the fourth, and Quentin then lined a pitch headed toward left-center, potentially scoring two runs.
Center fielder Denard Span cut in front of left fielder Rene Tosoni and made the catch on the run to end the inning. With two outs in the seventh, Quentin bounced a grounder down the third-base line that stayed fair and had a chance for extra bases. But Danny Valencia grabbed the baseball near the line, straightened up and made a perfect strike to first baseman Justin Morneau to retire Quentin.
Those defensive gems, along with help from first-base umpire Paul Emmel -- who said Morneau tagged Gordon Beckham on an inning-ending double play in the eighth -- took the game to the ninth. Shortstop Matt Tolbert's slick pick-up of Brent Morel's grounder and Morneau's scoop at first produced the first out. Liriano walked Pierre, who broke up Ted Lilly's no-hit bid in 2010 with a pinch-hit single leading off the ninth at Wrigley Field in another 1-0 final on June 13, but Alexei Ramirez popped out to Tolbert for the second out.
Adam Dunn was next. He jumped ahead in the count at 3-0, took a strike and then swung and missed. After fouling off a tough full-count slider, Dunn lined a shot to Tolbert, who made the easy catch for out No. 27. With the Twins (10-18) always playing Dunn to pull, Liriano thought Dunn had broken up the no-hitter.
Dunn knew almost immediately he was the game's last out.
"You know, as soon as I hit it, I saw him and it was right to him," Dunn said. "That's pretty much the story of the day. There were some balls that again, they made some great defensive plays. Hats off to them."
"Very happy, very excited," said Liriano, who was mobbed by his teammates. "I had a rough start to the season so very excited."
Not much excitement exists on the White Sox side. Sure, a no-hitter counts as one loss, but it doesn't mask a team hitting .203 in its past 22 games. It's also a no-hitter thrown by a pitcher with a 9.13 ERA coming in, albeit a great talent.
"He'll remember that for the rest of his life, but it's just another loss for us," Beckham said.
"I wasn't in the lineup," said Guillen, whose team was no-hit for 5 1/3 innings by the Tigers' Brad Penny on April 23. "I was a very bad manager during the game, and I was worse before the game because I made the lineup."