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Mauer, Hughes lead Twins over Orioles


Phil Hughes has been far and away the Twins' best starting pitcher this season. His latest example came in Minnesota's 6-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday afternoon.

Hughes worked eight outstanding innings, scattering five hits while striking out five and walking none. He allowed three unearned runs – all in the seventh inning on a three-run homer by Nick Hundley. The runs were unearned thanks to a throwing error by Trevor Plouffe.

Minnesota (60-77) was on top 3-0 at the time. After the Orioles tied the game, the Twins struck back with three runs in the seventh. Joe Mauer plated a pair with a single and Kennys Vargas added an RBI single of his own.

Hughes is now 15-9 with a 3.54 ERA. The right-hander, who posted an ERA close to six last season with the Yankees, has now struck out 154 batters while walking 15 this season. He hasn't walked a batter in 16 of his 28 starts.

Hughes' 15 wins are tied for the most in the American League. Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello of the Tigers, along with Jered Weaver of the Angels also have 15 victories.

Glen Perkins gave up a solo home run to Nelson Cruz but closed the game for his 33rd save of the season.

The Twins play six straight at Target Field beginning Tuesday against the White Sox. After a brief two-game stint against Chicago, they'll welcome the Angels to town for four games.

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