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Twins win 4-2, pull within one game of Wild Card

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As Dan Rather said when discussing election night in 2000: "This race is tighter than the lug-nuts on a '57 Chevy."

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It wouldn't be fair to say that the Twins are clicking on all cylinders, especially where the starting rotation is concerned. Last week there was concern that Phil Hughes might not pitch again for Minnesota in 2015, but injuries and almost-injuries forced him into action. On Wednesday night he was making his second start under less than ideal conditions.

A less-than-100% Phil Hughes gave the Twins exactly what they needed. A pair of double plays helped him out early, and when the Indians finally got something going in the fifth he was able to stand two base runners by striking out Abraham Almonte and getting Mike Aviles to ground out weakly. Hughes had thrown just 66 pitches through five, after allowing just four hits and striking out four without walking a batter. Under the circumstances, it was a brilliant performance.

For Minnesota, once again it was a single big inning that did the damage. Brian Dozier put the Twins in front by taking Corey Kluber the other way, dropping his 28th home run of the year into the first row in right field in the fourth inning. Joe Mauer followed that up with his 31st double of the year, tying the Twins record for consecutive games having reached base at 42 games. He'd score two batters later on a Trevor Plouffe's 33rd double to put the Twins up 2-0. Kluber continued to struggle, even after getting the second out of the frame, and Eduardo Escobar put a cap on the scoring with a two-run single. No doubt Torii Hunter appreciated the effort after getting plunked by Kluber two batters earlier.

Carlos Santana did hit a two-run shot off of Glen Perkins in the ninth, which Perkins didn't seem to appreciate very much. Santana has had his share of success versus Perk, and is now 8-for-13 against him lifetime with four home runs and four walks versus just one strikeout. Perkins' frustration came through, and after a few words with home plate umpire Dan Bellino following the home run - probably about a call or two of Bellino's - the two seemed to have a momentary truce. Bellino's body language basically said "Here's the ball, just finish the damned game."

Which Perkins promptly did. And then he had a few more words for Bellino, who threw Perkins out of the game. After the game was over.

Big story, though: the Twins won, and the Angels beat the Astros again. Your Minnesota Twins are within one game of the second Wild Card spot with 11 games to go.


Phil Hughes
Brian Dozier
Eduardo Escobar