- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Padres starter Tyson Ross pitched well enough to win. If only San Diego’s hitters had been able to solve Phil Hughes.

Hughes threw seven shutout innings and Trevor Plouffe homered in the Minnesota Twins' 2-0 victory over punchless San Diego on Wednesday night.

Ross (5-4) nearly matched Hughes, allowing one run on three hits over seven innings, walking three and striking out eight.

“I’ve been able to get ahead of the hitters,” Ross said.

Now if he only had the tonic to fix the Padres’ hitters. Instead San Diego was shut out for the eighth time, tops in the majors.

Yes, Hughes was fantastic. And yes, this was another version of Groundhog Day for the Padres as they continue to struggle at the plate.

“They’re out there battling,” Ross said of the Padres’ hitters. “Hughes had a good game and I’m sure we’re going to get them next time.”

Chris Parmelee’s sacrifice fly to left in the sixth scored Joe Mauer and Plouffe hit his third home run in the eighth.

Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth to collect his 14th save in 16 chances.

Hughes (5-1) came over from the Yankees in the offseason, signing a $24 million, three-year deal. He won his fifth straight decision and didn’t walk a batter for the fifth consecutive start, while striking out seven.

The Padres have lost two straight, scoring three runs in the two-game series against the Twins.

“The game is dominated by pitching right now,” said Chase Headley, who had two hits. “Good pitching beats good hitting and when a guy goes out there and pitches the way some of these guys are capable of you’re going to have these games.”

They just happen more often for the Padres, who are averaging just over three runs per game.

“Whenever you are going through a time like this it seems like the longest and the worst,” Headley said. “I’ve been through some offensive struggles, but this one seems as tough as I’ve experience.”

Ross struck out eight for the third consecutive start, which is one off his season-high.

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