Twins righthander Phil Hughes was sharp most of the night Tuesday and ran his streak to 175 batters faced without giving up a walk.
But he left the game after seven innings trailing 3-2, charged with three runs when maybe he should be held responsible for just two.
If there ever was a need for the invention of a new baseball scoring term, an example came in the top of the sixth, when Mitch Moreland hit a fly ball that left fielder Chris Parmelee and shortstop Eduardo Escobar converged on. Parmelee peeled off at the last second, and Escobar appeared to try to get out of the way at the same time. The ball fell in for a single.
Moreland was credited with a single on a ball that should have been caught. Hughes was penalized because of poor defense behind him. That’s where a “team error” — if it existed — could be assigned on that play.
Adrian Beltre followed with a single to put two runners on base, but Hughes got Alex Rios to hit into a double play as Moreland advanced to third. Maybe Hughes was going to get out of the mess.
Hughes, however, watched Chris Gimenez hit a bloop single to right, scoring Moreland and giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Tough luck for Hughes? Yes. But in the second inning, he benefited from good fortune because of great defense.
Hughes gave up leadoff singles to Rios and Gimenez in the second, and Leonys Martin followed with a sacrifice bunt to move them to second and third. Donnie Murphy then crushed a Hughes pitch to center that looked like a three-run homer — before Aaron Hicks leaped at the wall and reached back to make a marvelous catch and limit Murphy to a sacrifice fly.
Rougned Odor drove in Gimenez with a double to give Texas a 2-0 lead at the time.
In seven innings, Hughes gave up three runs on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Rosario’s season begins
His suspension almost over, Eddie Rosario’s minor league season is getting underway.
Rosario, one of the Twins’ best hitting prospects, is set to report to Class A Fort Myers on Thursday. It will be his first action of the season after he served a 50-game suspension for testing positive for marijuana during the Arizona Fall League.
Rosario has spent the past several weeks working out at the Twins’ year-round facility in Fort Myers, Fla., and recently began playing in extended spring training games.
He was scheduled to open the season at Class AA New Britain before the failed drug test. Now he will play with the Miracle until the Twins determine he’s ready to join the Rock Cats. He will play second base and the outfield.
Once again, Escobar was in the starting lineup. He’s played in 15 consecutive games, 14 of them starts, and he’s making the most of the opportunity.
He entered Tuesday batting .391 since beginning to play every day. His 13 doubles this month lead baseball.