MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Phil Hughes has been a better pitcher this season, freed from homer-friendly Yankee Stadium in his first season with the Minnesota Twins.
Hughes looked the way he did in his New York days on Friday night against the Houston Astros in his first turn after beating his former team.
Minnesota’s free-agent addition allowed three home runs in his new home ballpark, spacious Target Field, as the free-swinging Astros topped the Twins 5-4.
Rookie power source George Springer hit his 11th homer to break the game open in the sixth inning, and Houston got early solo home runs from Marwin Gonzalez and Matt Dominguez to snap Hughes’ six-game winning streak.
“I didn’t have my best fastball tonight and just wasn’t making adjustments the way I had before,” Hughes said. “I didn’t recognize it, really, early enough to make some better pitches with the two-seamer or cutter, and kept trying to generate extra velocity and came out of my mechanics just a little bit and left some balls over the plate. You can live with the two solo homers through five, and then the sixth inning obviously we kind of give the game away right there, so that was tough.”
Hughes (6-2) gave up a season-high five runs on six hits while striking out seven.