MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Twins aren’t picky about how they get on base this season.
And if the most-walked team in the majors can get more starting pitching performances as they did Saturday, the Twins likely won’t mind their status as a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to batting average.
Phil Hughes struck out six in seven innings, Josmil Pinto hit his fifth homer of the season and the Twins scored two runs in the fifth without a hit in their 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
A throwing error by catcher Bryan Holaday and a bases-loaded walk by Coke allowed Minnesota, hitless at that point, to tie the game.
Minnesota entered the game with a majors-leading 113 walks this season, and added eight more on Saturday.
Especially with Hughes rolling.
Although he acknowledged the need for more innings from his starters, Gardenhire preached patience with his rotation earlier in the day, saying the team believes its starting pitchers will do well.
For one afternoon, at least, Hughes gave his manager a glimpse of that.
“Anytime your starter doesn’t give you innings, it’s up to the next guy to kind of bounce back and hopefully save the bullpen a little bit,” Hughes said a day after the Twins bullpen threw six-plus innings in Friday night’s loss.
Trevor Plouffe’s two-run single off Coke scored Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier put the Twins ahead for good in the fifth, and Pinto’s homer off Al Albuquerque in the eighth provided an insurance run.