Via FOX Sports -
For the third time in as many starts, one inning doomed Phil Hughes.
In his season debut, it was the fifth inning. Last week against Oakland, it was the first inning. Thursday, the sixth inning got the best of Hughes.
The new Minnesota Twins right-hander cruised through five scoreless innings Tuesday against Toronto before it all came crashing down in a five-run sixth frame. Four of those runs were charged to Hughes as he was on the hook for the loss in the Twins’ 9-3 defeat.
“So far, three starts, three bad innings,” Hughes said after the loss.
After needing 74 pitches to get through five scoreless innings, Hughes simply couldn’t get anyone out in the sixth despite holding a 2-0 lead. He surrendered a leadoff double down the left-field line to Munenori Kawasaki, and followed that up with an RBI single by Jose Bautista for Toronto’s first run of the game.
Adam Lind followed Bautista with a single to center to send Bautista to third. Edwin Encarnacion recorded the Blue Jays’ fourth consecutive hit to open the inning as he singled off Hughes to drive in Bautista and tie the game at 2.
“It looked like the ball was still coming out of his hand, but he sure wasn’t making any pitches,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “They hit I don’t know how many balls in a row right on the screws. He was cruising before that.”