Both Phil Hughes and Mariners' starter Chris Young had strong outings for their teams today, but it was Hughes, in a return to dominance, who won the duel. Young pitched a strong 7 innings, giving up only two earned runs, but Hughes pitched a stronger 7.1 innings, giving up no earned runs and no walks with eight strikeouts to earn his first win since June 22nd.
Unlike last night, the Twins batters were able to back up Hughes's performance, mostly with help from
power-hitting center fielder Sam Fuld. Fuld had a three hit night, including a solo shot to score the first run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. It was Fuld's second home run of the year, his first coincidentally coming against the Twins while he was still an Athletic back on April 10th at Target Field.
The Twins didn't score again until the top of the eight inning. Eduardo Escobar walked, and with Sam Fuld up at the plate, executed a perfect hit and run on a Sam Fuld single to make it to third base. Escobar scored on a sacrifice fly from Brian Dozier, testing the arm of Dustin Ackley in left field and finding that it is indeed poor. Eduardo Nunez and Kurt Suzuki followed up with two ground-outs to end the inning.
Hughes started to run into trouble in the bottom of the eighth, giving up singles to Michael Saunders and James Jones with only one out and Robinson Cano at the plate. Casey Fien relieved Hughes and needed only two pitches to get Cano to ground into an inning-ending double play masterfully turned by Brian Dozier tagging out the runner then throwing to first.
The Twins failed to score again in the top of the ninth, but with All-Star closer Glen Perkins on the mound to finish the game, the Twins had all the runs they needed.
- Phil Hughes - 7.1 innings, 0 runs, 0 walks, 8 strikeouts.
- Sam Fuld - 3-for-3, 1 home run, 2 stolen bases.
- Oswaldo Arcia - 0-for-4, 0 walks, 1 strikeout.
- Kurt Suzuki - 0-for-4, 0 walks (although he did make this awesome juggling catch of a pitch to preserve the strikeout).
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