- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - Jose Bautista hit his third home run of the spring for the Toronto Blue Jays in a 4-3 victory Saturday over the Minnesota Twins, who got three scoreless innings from newcomer Phil Hughes.

After spending his first seven seasons with the New York Yankees, Hughes signed a $24 million, three-year contract with Minnesota in the offseason. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two.

The right-hander missed most of spring training with a back injury last year and struggled mightily in the regular season, going 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA with the Yankees.

Hughes said being able to participate in a full spring has given him a confidence boost.


“You never want to struggle at any point,” he said. “I think coming in off the year I had and to get off on a pretty good note is big. But again, it’s still spring training and once the season starts that’s the biggest thing, and I want to get out of the gates going well.”

Adam Lind was 2 for 2 with two doubles for the Blue Jays. Melky Cabrera added an RBI single and Edwin Encarnacion scored a run.

Bautista connected in the fourth off Twins closer Glen Perkins.

Byron Buxton, rated the No. 1 prospect in baseball, hit a two-run homer off Toronto starter Drew Hutchison in the third.

Hutchison struck out five, including three straight in the second, and walked one in three innings.

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Twins: Hughes threw 38 pitches but only two or three changeups because they weren’t very effective.

“It wasn’t good,” he said. “I threw one first pitch that was a bad ball and then I think I threw one on the plate. As the pitch counts increase, you give yourself a little bit more availability to work on some things. When I’m going three innings, sometimes the concentration goes on making a pitch and getting a guy out and before you know it, maybe you haven’t thrown as many (specific pitches).”

Blue Jays: Hutchison, a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, felt good after working with catcher Dioner Navarro for the first time in a game.

Hutchison said he and Navarro worked before the spring to build chemistry and it has paid off well.

Navarro signed an $8 million, two-year deal with Toronto in the offseason after spending last year with the Chicago Cubs.

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