Nobody will confuse the Padres for a team with a good offense. As a club, San Diego is hitting .222/.278/.348, which is a number absurdly low even for the worst team in baseball. But give credit where it's due: Phil Hughes did exactly what he should have done.
In his last six starts, Hughes is 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in 39 and one third innings. He's sent down 30 batters on strikes, and I think it was 2011 when he last walked a guy. On Wednesday night against the Padres, he scattered seven hits over seven innings while striking out seven, lowering his ERA to 3.15 on the year. There appears to be a nice rapport being set up between Hughes and his catcher for all but one of his starts, Kurt Suzuki.
For as good as he was, Hughes only had two clean innings. In every other frame, San Diego put at least one runner on base. The biggest threat came in the bottom of the sixth, when Chase Headley and Yonder Alonso led off with back-to-back singles. After a force out at second, Hughes struck out Will Venable in an eight-pitch at-bat, and then got Cameron Maybin to hack at the first pitch cutter for a ground out. It ended the threat, and the only real chance the Padres had to score a run all evening.
Chris Parmelee scored Joe Mauer from third on a sac fly in the sixth. Trevor Plouffe had a nine-pitch at-bat versus Dale Thayer in the top of the eighth that ended when Plouffe launched a 439-foot homer into the second deck. It was Plouffe's third homer of the year and put the Twins up 2-0, which was the final score. Casey Fien and Glen Perkins shut the door.
The only issue worth talking about last night? Danny Santana. He was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, including three from San Diego starter Tyson Ross - who was awesome in his own right. Ross struck out eight and only allowed a run in seven innings, but luckily Hughes tossed up the goose egg. All three Ross strikeouts of Santana came on sliders tailing away, and the strikeout in the top of the ninth was a curveball from Kevin Quackenbush.
Just chalk it up to "one of those days," Rook.
From Bryz, who posted his recap at roughly the same time I did. And yes, the mustache was truly magnificent.
It was a nice pitcher's duel last night between Phil Hughes and Tyson Ross. Both pitchers kept the game scoreless until the 6th inning when the Twins were finally able to scratch together a run thanks to some wildness from Ross. Joe Mauer walked with one out in the 6th, and then somehow was able to steal second base from Ross and catcher Rene Rivera. Trevor Plouffe then got an infield hit to push Mauer to 3rd, and then Chris Parmelee pushed him home with a sacrifice fly. Later in the 8th, Plouffe then added an insurance run with a deep home run to left field off reliever Dale Thayer and his magnificent mustache.
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Win Expectancy Chart
Danny Santana but not really BECAUSE TWINS SWEEP THE PADRES (...in two games)