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
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 14 FINAL
Kansas City 41
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Rangers 6
Toronto 0 FINAL
Detroit 3
Pittsburgh 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Florida 4 FINAL
Dallas 5
Winnipeg 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arizona 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Is it the right move to replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close