Phil Hughes' outing was pretty decent for the first six or so innings. But the offense couldn't get any run support for him, and Hughes' meatball tendencies eventually showed up, leading to the Twins coming away with a 4-1 win.
Hughes started the game well by getting three quick outs, and then the Yankees struck quickly in the bottom half of the first. After Brett Gardner grounded out, Ichiro Suzuki doubled into center field. Robinson Cano came up next. He hit one that looked to be headed up the middle, but it deflected off Twins' starter Samuel Deduno's heel and over the shortstop into left field. Ichiro came around and scored from second to make it 1-0. That would be all they got in the first, as Vernon Wells grounded into a double play to end the inning.
That lead didn't last long though, as Phil Hughes served up a solo home run to Trevor Plouffe in the top of the second, which tied the game.
After those two runs, the game turned into a pitcher's duel with both offenses trying to out-inept each other. Through six innings, Hughes had allowed just two hits. The Yankees had gotten five hits and walked three times against Deduno, but did not push another run across.
The Yankees' offensive struggles would soon put them in a very '2013 Yankees' deficit. With one out in the top of the seventh, Ryan Doumit hit a home run that just cleared the wall in right field. The Twins recorded just three hits against Hughes and found themselves with a 2-1 lead.
The Yankees threatened to get that run back in the bottom of the seventh, but failed. Travis Hafner hit a one-out pinch-hit double, but both Austin Romine and Garder couldn't bring the run around, keeping the score at 2-1.
In the top of the eighth, Aaron Hicks led off the inning by bunting his way on. Clete Thomas came up next and he grounded a slow roller down the first base line. Hughes fielded it and his throw to first hit off Thomas' back. Thomas was called out on interference, and Hicks was sent back to first. It was a call that looked close enough to go either way. Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire got himself ejected for arguing the call.
After all that, there was one out with a man still on first. Hughes then proceeded to serve up his third home run of the day, as Pedro Florimon took a pitch over the right field wall to make it 4-1 Twins. Hughes was pulled after that. Phil went 7.1 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and one walk, while striking out ten. Through six innings, it was a really good start by Hughes, but it got messy towards the end. And with the Yankees' offense, they couldn't afford that.
The Yankees couldn't do anything in the top of the eighth, despite Ichiro leading off with a single. Joba Chamberlain came into pitch the top of the ninth, and somehow allowed just one walk in a scoreless inning.
It was left up to the offense to try and do something against Glen Perkins in the bottom of the ninth. Zoilo Almonte led off the inning by grounding one to third. Plouffe's throw to first was off and Zoilo had himself a infield single. Luis Cruz came up next but he could only hit a shallow fly to left for the first out. Eduardo Nunez popped out, which left the game up to Romine. He could only ground out to end the game, and the Twins came away with a 4-1 win.
CC Sabathia takes the mound in the series finale against the Twins tomorrow. First pitch is at 1:05 eastern.
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