La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins postgame: Tough break for Luke Hughes

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 23, 2011 - 12:11 AM

Luke Hughes probably arrived at Target Field on Friday with his roster position safe, But after three reliever were used on Friday, the Twins decided to stick with 13 pitchers. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said there are nine straight days of games before their next off day, and the workload with some of the relievers was starting to rise. So the need to keep lefty Chuck James.

So, to make room for the return of righthander Scott Baker, the Twins sent down Hughes, who was visibly stunned by the news as he packed his belongings.

Hughes wasn't tearing it up, as he was batting .237. Still, it's a tough break that he probably didn't expect.

Now the Twins have to play down a bench player.

BIG PLAY

Brian Duensing was knocked out in the fifth inning on Friday but had a chance to get out of it with the score 4-1.

With one out and runners on the corners. Victor Martinez hit a ground ball to Danny Valencia at third. Martinez runs slow. Magglio Ordonez, who was on first, isn't a burner either. An inning-ending double play was possible.

Valencia, however, threw home to get Ryan  Raburn. Raburn was caught in a rundown and tagged out.

Jhonny Peralta followed with a double, scoring Ordonez and chasing Duensing from the game. Alex Burnett entered the game and gave up a two-run single to Carlos Guillen for a 7-1 lead. In 42/3 innings, Duensing was charged with seven earned runs on nine hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. 

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said after  the game that the play that should have been made was to start the double play.

There were no guarantees that the outcome would have been different. But 4-1 is a heck of a lot different than 7-1.

 

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