JUPITER, FLA. – Phil Hughes allowed two hits and a walk in his first exhibition start of the spring Tuesday, a 3-1 loss to the Marlins, but that’s OK. He needed the practice.
“I was just getting my stretch down a little bit better,” the Twins righthander said. “It’s tough sometimes in the bullpen — you don’t get those game situations with guys on base. Just finding a good rhythm and a good sink out of the stretch was a little tough [Tuesday], and it showed with my command.”
But Hughes was happy with his mechanics, happy with his curveball, and mostly happy with his 2⅔-inning, 44-pitch Twins debut. All but the run he allowed, when Ed Lucas singled home Jared Saltalamacchia with two outs in the second. Saltalamacchia homered two innings later off reliever Ryan Pressly, and Minnesota fell to 4-2 this spring.
Samuel Deduno also allowed a run, giving up three singles and a walk in only 1⅔ innings. “Deduno was Deduno — a couple balls go flying, and a couple balls are filthy,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We just want to make sure he’s healthy, get him through his innings, and as we go stretch him out and see where we go from there.”
The game was a sloppy one, with Miami committing five errors and allowing a fly ball to drop between three fielders. But the Twins couldn’t capitalize, going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.