Hughes sharp but lack of offense leads to another loss to Boston

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 18, 2014 - 6:31 AM

Jon Lester gave up four hits in 6⅓ innings, as the Twins dropped their fourth in a row and fell to five games under .500.

– A couple of excruciating offensive droughts ended for the Twins in Fenway Park on Tuesday night. But the most painful one remains: They’ve lost four games in a row.

Jon Lester became the latest starting pitcher to suffocate the Minnesota offense, and Phil Hughes became the latest Twins starter to suffer a loss he didn’t deserve, as the Red Sox picked up a 2-1 victory. That’s three runs allowed by the Twins in two games in Boston’s century-old bandbox, and they have nothing to show for it but a record that’s now a season-worst five games below .500.

“Giving up two runs in this ballpark, you can’t ask for much more than that,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We need to knock in some runs.”

Red Sox lefthander Jon Lester prevented it, even after the Twins forced him to throw 33 pitches in the first inning. But the Twins came away empty, and Lester had little trouble thereafter, cruising to his eighth win of the season while allowing only four hits in 6⅓ innings. His lone hiccup: a pair of doubles in the sixth inning that cut his 2-0 lead in half.

For the Twins, that rally was significant because it’s become so rare. Danny Santana led off by hitting a hot smash down the left-field line for two bases, his second hit of the game. Brian Dozier, in a 3-for-24 slump since leaving Target Field, sacrificed Santana to third, and Joe Mauer followed with a line drive that left fielder Jonny Gomes dived for, but couldn’t catch.

“The way it’s been going lately, I’m glad he didn’t,” Mauer said. “I saw I had good numbers against [Lester] before, but I don’t know how, to be honest.”

Mauer’s double scored Santana, breaking a streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings for the Twins. And it represented the first run that Mauer has driven in since May 27, a drought of 18 games and 79 at-bats.

“Whether they’re on base or not, it hasn’t been too [good] lately,” Mauer said.

The inning ended when Lester got Josh Willingham to pop up and Kendrys Morales to ground out, and the Twins never advanced another runner as far as second base.

The night goes down as the first time all season that Hughes has made a quality start and taken a loss anyway. He dropped his ERA to a season-low 3.09, yet fell to 7-3 on the season after allowing two runs on eight hits over eight innings.

Brock Holt, the Red Sox’ recent phenom, was the man most responsible. Holt led off the first inning with a single, moved up on a ground out, and scored on Dustin Pedroia’s ­double to left-center.

Two innings later, Holt — playing center field after Boston designated for assignment veteran Grady Sizemore earlier in the day — doubled off the wall in left. He stole third base, then scored on Xander Bogaerts’ ­sacrifice fly.

Hughes didn’t allow another run, and didn’t allow a walk for the third consecutive start and ninth time this season. And he received the ultimate compliment from manager Ron Gardenhire in the eighth inning when — though he had surpassed 100 pitches and given up two hits — Hughes was allowed to face David Ortiz for the fourth time.

Or maybe he talked his way into staying in the game. “I was kind of caught up in the moment,” Hughes said, “and Andy might have been a little scared of me, I don’t know.”

Anderson agreed:

“He would probably have pinched my head off” if he had been removed. But Hughes stayed in, decided against walking Ortiz to face Mike Napoli, and got Ortiz to reach harmlessly for an outside cutter, popping it to left.

A small victory. One that unfortunately doesn’t register in the standings.

“It’s a tough thing to lose a game when you throw that way,” Anderson said. “But he’s using all his pitches. It’s really fun to watch him grow.”

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Boston 2, Twins 1

    Tuesday June 17, 2014

  • Photo gallery: Boston 2, Twins 1

    Tuesday June 17, 2014

    The Twins lost to the Red Sox in Boston on Monday, 2-1.

  • Twins notes: Pino is ready to take the mound

    Wednesday June 18, 2014

    Yohan Pino will be promoted from Class AAA Rochester when the Twins return home, and will make his major league debut against the White Sox on Thursday.

  • Postgame: Anderson loves Hughes' attitude

    Tuesday June 17, 2014

    Twins' righthander insists on facing Ortiz in eighth inning, and talks his pitching coach into it

  • Video: Mauer happy his double fell in

    Tuesday June 17, 2014

    Twins first baseman Joe Mauer says his luck has been so bad lately, he was surprised his sixth-inning double...

  • Video: Hughes wanted to face Ortiz

    Tuesday June 17, 2014

    Twins starter Phil Hughes didnt want to follow his coach's instruction to walk David Ortiz, and retired the Red...

  • Tuesday's Twins-Boston game recap

    Wednesday June 18, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerJon Lester, Red SoxNot much the Twins can do when Boston’s lefty allows only four hits.BY THE NUMBERS79...

  • Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes fires one in against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston’s Dustin Pedroia called for time out after sliding in safely on a double as second baseman Brian Dozier tried to tag him.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 FINAL
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 FINAL
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 8 FINAL
LA Angels 6
Chicago Cubs 7 FINAL
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
San Francisco 11
Chicago WSox 4 FINAL
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Oakland 7
Seattle 5 FINAL
San Diego 8
Texas 5 FINAL
Los Angeles 10
Colorado 11 FINAL
Arizona 10
Arizona 1 FINAL
Colorado 2
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Brooklyn 107
Minnesota 88 FINAL
New Orleans 110
Philadelphia 86 FINAL
Cleveland 87
Detroit 99 4th Qtr 0:16
Miami 105
LA Clippers 117 4th Qtr 2:34
Boston 102
Dallas 68 3rd Qtr 8:45
Indiana 63
Memphis 60 3rd Qtr 4:24
San Antonio 65
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Washington 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 5 FINAL
Nashville 2
Boston 2 FINAL(OT)
Carolina 1
Detroit 4 FINAL
NY Islanders 5
Florida 4 FINAL
Ottawa 2
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 2:02
New Jersey 0
Chicago 1 2nd Prd 19:07
Winnipeg 0
San Jose 0 2nd Prd
Pittsburgh 2
Michigan State 76 FINAL
Louisville 70
Gonzaga 52 FINAL
Duke 66
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Toronto FC 0 2nd Half 35:00
Real Salt Lake 1
(7) Florida State 74 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 60
Temple 69 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 57
Siena 50 FINAL
Louisiana 52
St Marys-CA 66 FINAL
(5) Baylor 7:30 PM
(2) Notre Dame
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question