Hughes outduels Verlander in 2-1 Twins victory

The righthander faced the red-hot Tigers and their star pitcher and pulled a stunner.

– Righthander Phil Hughes has just pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. He had retired four in a row and seven of the past eight hitters. He had outlasted former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. The Twins were closing in on a victory.

Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson then walked up to manager Ron Gardenhire and said, “Hughes is done.”

Hughes had thrown 86 pitches. A complete-game shutout was not out of the question.

Gardenhire walked to the other end of the dugout to make sure. Hughes had had his fill. Catcher Kurt Suzuzki backed him up.

So Gardenhire got the bullpen involved earlier than he expected. Casey Fien pitched the eighth and Glen Perkins gave up a run in the ninth, but the Twins held on for an impressive 2-1 victory over Verlander and the Tigers at Comerica Park. With a little help at the end, Hughes won his fourth consecutive start, his longest streak since he won four in a row from May 22-June 16, 2012.

In these cases, a reporter heads down to the clubhouse after the game wondering, “What was Gardy thinking?” It soon became, “What was Hughes thinking?”

“In the seventh inning, I thought my stuff and location were deteriorating,” Hughes said. “In a situation like that, with the meat of the order coming up and guys having success off of me in the past, you don’t want to give the game away because you are being prideful.”

Gardenhire appreciated Hughes’ honesty.

“I had not thought of taking him out, a guy is going along like that.” Gardenhire said. “But when he said he’s starting to get the ball up and the catcher comes in and says yes, he is getting the ball up, he’s losing it, you are taking him out of the ballgame.”

Before that, Hughes was unflappable and fearless. He threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 25 batters he faced. He pitched hard inside at will — even to Miguel Cabrera, who entered the game batting .536 off him in his career. Hughes discovered early that his fastball had life and his cutter was moving well, too. He only threw two curveballs and no changeups all night. But he had to pitch with runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, which took its toll.

“The pitch count looked good,” he said, “but I pitched in a lot of high-stress innings.”

The Twins had their chances against Verlander, too. They stranded two runners on base in both the second and third innings. They cashed in during the seventh.

Chris Parmelee singled with one out. Then, with two out, Danny Santana singled and Brian Dozier walked. That brought Suzuki to the plate.

Before the game, Gardenhire said he batted Suzuki second because “he’s been swinging the bat pretty good.”

Suzuki entered the game batting .375 with two outs and runners in scoring position. And Kurt was clutch again, driving a single through the infield to score the first two runs of the game.

The bullpen took it from there. The stadium siren went off in the top of the ninth inning because a fire had broken out in a janitorial closet. It was contained, but the emergency system overrides the public address system and the music. The last inning was played to the sounds of baseball and fans’ reactions.

And that meant the game ended quietly, as Perkins gave up an RBI double but still earned his ninth save. Just like Hughes expected.

“The guys," Hughes said, “are down there for a reason."

  • related content

  • Video: Parmelee back in the bigs with Twins

    Friday May 9, 2014

    Cut from spring training camp, Parmelee made adjustments and gets called up

  • Photo gallery: Twins 2, Detroit 1

    Friday May 9, 2014

    Hughes outduels Verlander in 2-1 Twins victory

  • Twins could take safe route with improving Mauer

    Saturday May 10, 2014

    CLEVELAND – Joe Mauer hit indoors Friday as he inches closer to a return to the Twins lineup, but the...

  • Friday's Twins-Detroit game recap

    Friday May 9, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerPhil Hughes, TwinsThe righthander shut out the Tigers for seven innings on eight hits and no walks with...

  • Postgame: Thoughts on Hughes, Suzuki and fire alarms

    Friday May 9, 2014

    Twins beat the Tigers 2-1 in a very entertaining game as Phil Hughes outpitches Justin Verlander

  • Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler couldn’t quite reach Chris Parmelee’s hit up the middle during the seventh inning Friday in Detroit. Parmalee’s single started a two-run rally that made the difference.

  • Hughes a 2014 photo of pitcher Phil Hughes of the Minnesota Twins baseball team. This image reflects the Twins active roster as of Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) ORG XMIT: FLSR1

  • Tigers starter Justin Verlander pitched well, giving up just two runs in seven innings, but not as good as Phil Hughes.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Cleveland «0300100048110
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Salazar(2-4) L:Y.Pino(1-3)
HR: CLE- C.Santana (15) MIN- B.Dozier (19)


Los Angeles - LP: P. Maholm 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 12
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 9 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Manship 6
Texas - LP: N. Tepesch 1 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: J. Francis 2
Boston - LP: J. Peavy 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 7
Miami - WP: J. Turner 6 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 5
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 6
Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure 3 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: F. Rodriguez 4
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: Y. Pino 2
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 2
Washington - WP: C. Stammen 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Brown 4
Detroit - LP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Arizona - WP: E. De La Rosa 5
Houston - WP: D. Downs 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: F. Abad 2
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 4 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: M. Morin 2
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 1
Calgary 7/24/14 8:00 PM
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Tulsa 93 FINAL
San Antonio 95
Atlanta 108 FINAL
Minnesota 112
Indiana 57 FINAL
Chicago 60
Phoenix 89 FINAL
Seattle 71
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What's your outlook for the Twins' second half?

Weekly Question