Phil Hughes ended a personal losing streak that dated to last July, pitching into the seventh inning Sunday and helping the Twins top the Kansas City Royals 8-3 to avoid a three-game sweep. Hughes (1-1), who signed a $24 million, three-year deal in December, allowed an RBI single to Omar Infante in the fifth and a two-run homer to Alcides Escobar in the seventh while winning for the first time in 17 appearances. He had lost eight games since that victory on July 2. Josmil Pinto homered and Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki each drove in a pair of runs for the Twins, who battered Yordano Ventura (1-1) before piling on against the Royals' bullpen. The loss ended Kansas City's five-game winning streak. Hughes' solid showing came after he had allowed 12 earned runs in his first 15 innings with Minnesota. The former All-Star had not survived past the sixth since July 13, when he was still a member of the New York Yankees and was facing his current team. It helped that the Twins staked him to an early lead. After they went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position in a 5-4 loss Saturday, Plouffe came through with a double in the Twins' first opportunity Sunday. His drive into the gap in right was enough to score Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer and give Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Twins added on in the fourth. After Suzuki walked, the Royals were unable to turn a double play on a grounder by Aaron Hicks. Ventura then threw the ball away trying to pick him off first, and a wild pitch put Hicks on third base. Eduardo Escobar's single scored the run. Ventura was finally pulled from the game in the fifth, when the 22-year-old right-hander gave up a leadoff triple to Plouffe and a single to Chris Colabello. He allowed four runs on six hits and four walks in four-plus innings, a line that looks even uglier after two dominant outings in which he allowed a combined one run on six hits against Tampa Bay and Houston.
Phil Hughes snaps losing streak as Twins defeat Kansas City 8-3
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Apr 21