Twins blank San Diego
SAN DIEGO — Right-hander Phil Hughes blanked the San Diego Padres on seven hits over seven innings and Trevor Plouffe rocketed a 439-foot homer Wednesday as the Minnesota Twins completed a sweep of a two-game interleague series with a 2-0 win at Petco Park.
The shutout was the eighth suffered by the Padres this season while the loss was their eighth straight to Minnesota dating back to June 2005.
Right fielder Chris Parmelee hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to break up a scoreless pitching duel between Hughes (5-1) and Padres right-hander Tyson Ross (5-4).
Plouffe reached the second deck in left center with his third homer of the season, an eighth-inning drive off right-handed reliever Dale Thayer, who has given up four homers in his six outings after allowing only one run in his first 18 appearances of the season.
Hughes allowed no walks while striking out seven. He needed only 94 pitches to negotiate the first seven innings. He lowered his ERA from 3.61 to 3.15.
Left-hander Glen Perkins picked up his 14th save.
Through his first five innings, Ross had allowed two hits and a walk while striking out six.
He issued his second walk to Joe Mauer with one out in the sixth. The first baseman stole second (his second steal of the season) and moved to third on an infield single up the third-base line by Plouffe.
Ross got ahead of Parmelee with two quick strikes. But the left-handed hitter lifted a fly to left to drive in Mauer.
The Padres wasted an excellent opportunity in the bottom of the sixth. Third baseman Chase Headley and first baseman Yonder Alonso opened the inning with back-to-back singles and Headley reached third with one out on second baseman Jedd Gyorko’s grounder to third that resulted in a forceout of Alonso at second.
But Hughes struck out right fielder Will Venable on a high, full-count fastball. Center fielder Cameron Maybin, who had two earlier singles, grounded out to short to end the inning.
Ross allowed one run on three hits and three walks, with eight strikeouts, over seven innings.
Notes: Padres manager Bud Black left Wednesday night’s game early and will miss Thursday’s opener of a four-game series against the Cubs to attend daughter Jessie’s graduation from the University of Maryland. ... The Twins entered Wednesday’s game one game over .500. It is the latest in a season that they’ve been over .500 since the end of the 2010 season. ... Wednesday night’s game started an hour earlier than normal due to concerns that the Twins would miss the 11:30 p.m. curfew for departing flights from Lindbergh Field. The Twins were to travel to San Francisco on Wednesday night.