Hughes sharp as Twins shut out Seattle

The righthander ended his and his team's slumps.

– Phil Hughes’ next outing is scheduled for Sunday in Colorado. So even if he made the AL All-Star team he would have been unable to pitch in the Midsummer Classic because of a league rule prohibiting pitchers who start so close to the game from appearing.

But Hughes had sealed his own fate, anyway, with his previous three starts. He gave up five, five and seven runs in those outings, ruining what had been an impressive start to his Twins career. Hughes didn’t need an All-Star Game to validate his bounce-back season, but he needed a well-pitched game Tuesday to stop his slide.

He was presented with the Mariners, a team largely without threatening hitters. Hughes used them as a slumpbuster and twirled his way to a 2-0 victory over Seattle at Safeco Field.

“You could see it early. He was pounding the strike zone, working ahead in the count,’’ Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “A lot of fastballs. When he did use his breaking ball, it was sharp, too. He went right at them. He kept throwing the same way the entire time.’’

It was a much-needed victory for the Twins, losers of 11 of their previous 14 games. They also had lost 11 of their past 12 on the road.

Hughes pitched 7 ⅓ shutout innings, giving up eight hits, striking out eight and walking none, as he improved to 9-5 while lowering his ERA to 3.70.

It was Bark at the Park night at Safeco, meaning fans were allowed to bring their dogs to the game and sit in a section reserved for them. The offenses for both clubs could be summed up with one word: Woof. But Twins outfielder Sam Fuld hit a home run off Seattle righthander Chris Young in the fifth inning for the first run of the game, and it held up.

Hughes came out filling the strike zone as he likes to do, retiring eight of the first nine batters he faced. Seattle got a runner to second base in the third inning, and Logan Morrison led off the fourth inning with a double. That was it in terms of runners in scoring position during first seven innings.

“I felt like my fastball command was good tonight, and I worked from there,’’ Hughes said.

It was the 14th time in 18 starts Hughes has pitched at least six innings in a start. He threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of the first 20 batters he faced.

Hughes ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth, giving up back-to-back one-out singles to Michael Saudners and James Jones.

Gardenhire brought in Casey Fien to face Seattle’s Robinson Cano. Fien got the Mariners’ best hitter to ground into a double play on which Brian Dozier chased down and tagged out Jones and fired to first to end the inning.

“I had vision in my head of Robinson Cano hitting a three-run homer. I’ve seen it too many times,’’ Hughes said. “But Fiener got him to roll over. That was good to see.’’

Hughes, who made the 150th start of his career Tuesday, has been the ace of the staff. And he will have to continue to do so as righthander Ricky Nolasco recovers from a strained flexor pronator in his right elbow.

All Hughes and the Twins were left to worry about were runs. The injury-depleted Twins lineup has struggled to score, and it didn’t help that Young pitched well, too. The Twins stranded a runner at second in each of the first three innings, so it had the look of one of those nights that have been frequent this season.

Then Fuld got hold of a belt-high fastball in the fifth and drove it just over the wall in right for the first run of the game.

It was Fuld’s first homer as a Twin after hitting one against them when he connected off Mike Pelfrey on April 10 while with Oakland. The Twins added a second run in the eighth on Dozier’s sacrifice fly, which scored Eduardo Escobar, who led off with a walk.

“Falling behind was a mistake,’’ Young said of Fuld’s homer. “The pitch wasn’t necessarily a mistake, challenging the No. 9 hitter with a 3-2 fastball. Then walking Escobar to start the eighth. Both runs cost us.’’

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Twins 2, Seattle 0

    Wednesday July 9, 2014

  • Twins' Dozier named to Home Run Derby at Target Field

    Wednesday July 9, 2014

    Brian Dozier was among the participants named Tuesday to the Home Run Derby at Target Field. One more player from each league will be named Thursday.

  • Muscle strain lands Twins' Nolasco on DL

    Wednesday July 9, 2014

    The Twins on Tuesday placed righthander Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list because of a strain of the flexor pronator muscle in his right elbow

  • Tuesday's Twins-Seattle game recap

    Wednesday July 9, 2014

    GAME RECAPIMPACT PLAYERPhil Hughes, TwinsThe righthander was outstanding once more, throwing 7⅓ shutout innings, allowing eight hits while striking out...

  • Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

  • The Twins’ Sam Flud rounded the bases after hitting a solo home run off Seattle starter Chris Young in the fifth inning. Fuld also had two singles and stole two bases.

  • Phil Hughes:  Pitched 7.1 innings of shutout ball, striking out eight and walking none.

  • Minnesota Twins' Kurt Suzuki in action against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game Monday, July 7, 2014, in Seattle. The Mariners won 2-0. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Minnesota Twins center fielder Sam Fuld slams into the outfield wall while chasing a deep fly ball from Seattle Mariners' Michael Saunders in the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, July 7, 2014, in Seattle. Saunders had a home run on the play. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders couldn’t catch the home run ball hit by the Twins’ Sam Fuld in the fifth inning Tuesday.

  • Twins second baseman Brian Dozier tagged Seattle’s James Jones and then threw out Robinson Cano for a double play that ended the eighth inning and a Mariners threat.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - B. Colon 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Roark
Baltimore - U. Jimenez 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy
Kansas City - Y. Ventura 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:07 PM
Toronto - R. Dickey
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Pittsburgh - G. Cole 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - J. Cueto
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Martinez
St. Louis - S. Miller 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Arizona - A. Chafin 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Columbus
Boston 6:30 PM
Montreal
Nashville 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Detroit 7:30 PM
Chicago
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close