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Hughes Wins Again, Twins Top Orioles 5-2

Updated: 05/05/2014 2:38 PM
Created: 05/04/2014 4:47 PM KSTP.com

Phil Hughes won his third start in a row, Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki hit two-run doubles and the Minnesota Twins beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Sunday.

Twins first baseman Joe Mauer left in the top of the third inning with lower-back spasms. He's considered day to day.

Hughes (3-1) gave up two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, walking none and striking out three.

Brought in as a free agent to help cure some of the Twins' starting pitching woes, Hughes again pitched like the ace the team hoped he'd be.

After giving up a single to Nick Markakis to start the game, Hughes retired the next 14 batters. Nelson Cruz broke up Hughes' shutout bid with two outs in the sixth, hitting a two-run shot for his ninth homer of the season.

Hughes gave up four earned runs in each of his first three starts this season. He has allowed a total of six earned runs in 19 1-3 innings over his last three outings.

Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in eight chances this year.

The Twins scored twice in the third, helped by the hustle of the Twins' most slump-ridden hitter.

Eduardo Escobar led off with a single off Miguel Gonzalez (1-3) and Pedro Florimon, who entered the game hitting .121, followed with a routine ground ball to second base.

Running hard down the line, Florimon barely beat shortstop J.J. Hardy's double-play relay to first base.

Brian Dozier then singled and one out later, Plouffe lined a double into the left-field corner that scored both runners.

Gonzalez walked the bases full with two outs, then walked Kurt Suzuki to force home a run. Reliever Troy Patton bailed him out of the jam by retiring Sam Fuld.

The Twins tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh against reliever Ryan Webb. Chris Colabello hit a one-out double, Jason Kubel walked and Suzuki hit a double to left that scored both runners.

Kubel slid home just ahead of catcher Matt Wieters' tag, a call that was confirmed via an instant-replay challenge.

NOTES: Plouffe leads the majors with 14 doubles. ... Minnesota wrapped up an eight-game homestand with a 3-5 record. RHP Kyle Gibson (3-2, 4.34) is scheduled to start on Monday when the Twins begin a four-game series at Cleveland. ... The Orioles will start RHP Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.68) on Tuesday when they open a three-game set at Tampa Bay.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier, right, safely steals second base as Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy gets the late throw from home during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis, Sunday, May 4, 2014.
Photo: AP/Ann Heisenfelt
Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes delivers to the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis, Sunday, May 4, 2014.
Photo: AP/ Ann Heisenfelt

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