Phil Hughes' return to mound for Twins doesn't go as he hoped

Phil Hughes' return to mound for Twins doesn't go as he hoped

– Phil Hughes was down 2-0 after 10 pitches. A potential replacement started warming up in the bullpen. And, on a day the Twins could ill afford a short outing, Hughes needed 35 pitches to get his first three outs.

“It wasn’t exactly the first inning I was hoping for,” he said.

Returning to action for the first time since having surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, Hughes lasted only 3 ⅓ innings Sunday in his first start in 11 months. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

Gomez hits winning HR as Rays finish sweep of Twins

Gomez hits winning HR as Rays finish sweep of Twins

Tampa Bay’s Carlos Gomez hit a two-run walkoff homer with none out in the bottom of the ninth inning and Adeiny Hechavarria and C.J. Cron also homered in the Rays’ 8-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field on Sunday.

Cron singled to lead off the ninth against Addison Reed (0-1) and was replaced by pinch runner Rob Refsnyder before Gomez hit the first pitch he saw for his third homer of the season as the Rays completed their first home sweep of Minnesota in franchise history.

Daniel Robertson had four hits, Jesus Sucre had three and Joey Wendle had two for the Rays, who have won four in a row. They hit six homers and scored 26 runs in their sweep of the Twins.

Cron homered for the third time in the last two games to give the Rays a 2-0 lead in the first inning and Hechavarria’s three-run homer, his first of the season, came in the sixth to give the Rays a 6-3 lead.

The Twins tied the game on Miguel Sano’s pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning and Brian Dozier‘s two-run single in the eighth. Dozier had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 16 games, setting a franchise record at the start of a season. Kirby Puckett and Josh Willingham each hit safely in their first 15.

Rays closer Alex Colome (2-2) struck out the side in a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the victory.

Eduardo Escobar hit a bases-empty homer for the Twins, who have lost four of five.

Tampa Bay starter Yonny Chirinos gave up two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking two.

Minnesota starter Phil Hughes gave up five hits and two runs in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two in his first major league appearance since last July 14, when he was placed on the disabled list following a recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome that sidelined him for most of 2016.

Cron hit his third two-run homer in five plate appearances for a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Cron homered with one on in the third and seventh innings of a 10-1 victory over the Twins on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Carlos Gomez's walkoff homer sends Rays to sweep of Twins

Carlos Gomez's walkoff homer sends Rays to sweep of Twins

– Carlos Gomez blasted a two-run homer off Addison Reed in the ninth inning, handing the Twins a 8-6 walk-off loss that also completed a sweep of the three game series.

The Twins had fought back from a 6-3 hole to tie the game in the eighth on Brian Dozier’s two-run single. The Twins failed to score in the ninth, and Reed, who got out of the eighth by getting a double play grounder to stop a scoring threat — went back out for the ninth.

C.J. Cron greeted him with a sharp single to left, then was replaced by pinch runner Rob Refsnyder. Gomez walked to the plate and hit Reed’s first pitch into the seats.

Carlos Gomez beats Twins with walk-off homer off Addison Reed

Carlos Gomez beats Twins with walk-off homer off Addison Reed

  • Minnesota Twins's Ehire Adrianza (16) and Eduardo Escobar (5) celebrate after scoring on Brian Dozier's two-run single off Tampa Bay Rays reliever Sergio Romo during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Minnesota Twins’s Ehire Adrianza (16) and Eduardo Escobar (5) celebrate after scoring on Brian Dozier’s two-run single off Tampa Bay Rays reliever Sergio Romo during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Minnesota Twins' Ehire Adrianza (16) scores past Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre on a a two-run single hit by Twins' Brian Dozier during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Minnesota Twins’ Ehire Adrianza (16) scores past Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre on a a two-run single hit by Twins’ Brian Dozier during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Minnesota Twins' Logan Morrison races home to score on Max Kepler's double during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Minnesota Twins’ Logan Morrison races home to score on Max Kepler’s double during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes spits off the mound as Tampa Bay Rays' C.J. Cron, right, circles the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes spits off the mound as Tampa Bay Rays’ C.J. Cron, right, circles the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Minnesota Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston, left, and catcher Jason Castro talk with starter Phil Hughes, center, on the mound during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston, left, and catcher Jason Castro talk with starter Phil Hughes, center, on the mound during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Mallex Smith dives for an RBI-double hit by Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Mallex Smith dives for an RBI-double hit by Minnesota Twins’ Max Kepler during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Minnesota Twins catcher Jason Castro, left, tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Gomez after striking out during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Minnesota Twins catcher Jason Castro, left, tags out Tampa Bay Rays’ Carlos Gomez after striking out during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Matt Quatraro, left, congratulates Adeiny Hechavarria, right, after his three-run home run off Minnesota Twins reliever Alan Busenitz during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Matt Quatraro, left, congratulates Adeiny Hechavarria, right, after his three-run home run off Minnesota Twins reliever Alan Busenitz during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays' Adeiny Hechavarria celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run off Minnesota Twins reliever Alan Busenitz during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays’ Adeiny Hechavarria celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run off Minnesota Twins reliever Alan Busenitz during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays' Joey Wendle (18), Jesus Sucre and Adeiny Hechavarria, right, celebrate at the plate after Hechavarria's three-run home run off Minnesota Twins reliever Alan Busenitz during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays’ Joey Wendle (18), Jesus Sucre and Adeiny Hechavarria, right, celebrate at the plate after Hechavarria’s three-run home run off Minnesota Twins reliever Alan Busenitz during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre holds his arm after he was hit by a foul ball during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre holds his arm after he was hit by a foul ball during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Denard Span steps over center fielder Mallex Smith chasing a RBI-double hit by Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Denard Span steps over center fielder Mallex Smith chasing a RBI-double hit by Minnesota Twins’ Max Kepler during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Matt Quatraro (33) congratulates C.J. Cron after his two-run home run off Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Matt Quatraro (33) congratulates C.J. Cron after his two-run home run off Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays starter Yonny Chirinos pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays starter Yonny Chirinos pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

  • Tampa Bay Rays teammates congratulate C.J. Cron (44) after his two-run home run off Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

    Tampa Bay Rays teammates congratulate C.J. Cron (44) after his two-run home run off Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Carlos Gomez picked a great spot for his first career walk-off homer.

The former Twins center fielder victimized his old team once again, blasting a first-pitch fastball from Addison Reed for a two-run homer and an 8-6 win in the ninth inning Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

C.J. Cron started the inning with a single off Reed, who was being asked to get more than three outs for the fourth time in nine outings already this year.

The Twins, who hadn’t been swept here in a series of three games or more since July 2013, suffered just their third sweep since the middle of last June. They also dropped all three at Dodger Stadium (July 24-26) and at Yankee Stadium (Sept. 18-20).

Coincidentally, they head back to the Bronx on Monday for a four-game set against the Yankees.

Brian Dozier had tied the game in the eighth with a two-run, two-out single off reliever Sergio Romo.

Earlier, Dozier extended his hitting streak to 23 games, including the first 16 games this season, with a third-inning single. Dozier had been tied with Kirby Puckett (1994) and Josh Willingham (2012) for longest streaks to open a Twins season.

Adeiny Hechavarria entered this series with a .291 career on-base percentage, but the slick-fielding Cuban shortstop made that seem like a misprint all weekend. Sunday afternoon it was Hechavarria’s three-run homer in the sixth that snapped a tie.

Once again it was an 0-and-2 pitch that led to the damage as Alan Busenitz hung a curveball that Hechavarria deposited into the left-field seats.

Veteran right-hander Phil Hughes, activated off the disabled list for his first regular-season start in 11 months, gave up a two-run homer to C.J. Cron in a 35-pitch first inning but managed to record 10 outs before exiting at 70 pitches. It was Cron’s third homer in a span of five at-bats in the series.

Trevor Hildenberger was warming up in the first, but Hughes got a break when Brad Miller slipped rounding third on Jesus Sucre’s single and was tagged for the final out of the inning.

Hughes retired six straight from there, but got in more trouble in the fourth after back-to-back singles by Daniel Robertson and Joey Wendle. Ryan Pressly came on to strand a pair of runners with strikeouts of Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechavarria.

The Twins clawed back to tie the game on Eduardo Escobar’s second homer, a solo shot in the second, and a two-out run-scoring single by Eddie Rosario in the third. Max Kepler put the Twins in front with a two-out double off lefty Ryan Yarbrough in the sixth; Kepler homered off Yarbrough in the ninth inning on Friday.

Miguel Sano added a pinch single in the seventh to pull the Twins within two runs.

Former teammates keep ailing Danny Farquhar in their thoughts

Former teammates keep ailing Danny Farquhar in their thoughts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage that caused Chicago White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar to collapse in the dugout during a game on Friday night remained a source of great concern for his former teammates in the Twins’ clubhouse.

Pitcher Jake Odorizzi and first baseman Logan Morrison played with Farquhar the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. Morrison and Farquhar were teammates in 2014-15 as well with the Seattle Mariners.

“I’m lying in bed last night and can’t sleep, thinking about it,” Morrison said Sunday morning. “You just want to know how he’s going to be. Is he going to be all right?”

Farquhar, 31, was in stable but critical condition at a Chicago-area hospital, according to the White Sox. He had just returned to the dugout after recording two outs and give up two runs to the Houston Astros in the sixth inning when he vomited before losing consciousness.

The game was halted as an ambulance was summoned to take Farquhar to the hospital.

“When I think about that, it’s not him as a baseball player, just him as a dad, him as a husband,” Morrison said. “He’s an awesome human being and he would do anything for you. Unfortunately bad things happen to good people.”

Christie Morrison, Logan’s wife, sent a text message of support to Lexi Farquhar, Danny’s wife. The couple has three young children.

“We spent a lot of time together, you know?” Morrison said. “With his family and knowing his kids. I haven’t got to meet Liam yet, but Landon and Madison and his wife Lexi, my heart goes out to them for sure. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling right now.”

The lack of warning signs is another troubling aspect for Farquhar’s many friends in the game.

“He’s in great shape,” Morrison said. “He eats right, he’s healthy and had a headache and then threw up and then he passed out. Just crazy. Just another reminder, man, don’t take anything for granted.”

OAKLAND CONNECTION

Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston was ironing his shirt Saturday night in his hotel room when his phone buzzed with a no-hitter alert regarding one of his former Oakland A’s pupils. It was left-hander Sean Manaea who was closing in on history against the Boston Red Sox.

“I said, ‘What?’ and I literally just turned it on and stayed up and watched it,” said Alston, who saw the last six outs of the season’s first no-hitter. “I watched the whole thing come through and I was happy for him. He has that type of stuff. He’s a good kid. They call him ‘Baby Giraffe.’ He’s a youngun.”

Alston was Oakland’s minor-league pitching coordinator in 2015 when Manaea, 26, was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in a trade for Ben Zobrist. Alston worked with Manaea again last year after a midseason promotion to become the A’s bullpen coach.

“When he came over we worked together quite a bit,” Alston said. “I sent him a text and told him, ‘Wonderful job. Keep it going. Congratulations.’ He texted me back and said, ‘Thanks, G.’ “

Alston also texted his congrats to A’s manager Bob Melvin, pitching coach Scott Emerson and the rest of the A’s coaching staff.

“Emo, that’s my guy,” Alston said. “It’s very rare to get that opportunity in the big leagues, so when you get it you’ve got to just soak it up. I was happy for him.”

BUXTON ON REHAB

Byron Buxton (migraines) came through Saturday’s batting practice with no issues and was set to serve as the designated hitter for Class A Fort Myers in Bradenton, Fla., on Sunday.

Provided he has no setbacks, Buxton is slated to play center field on Monday and Tuesday in Clearwater, Fla., and could come off the 10-day disabled list as soon as Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

“We don’t have to commit to that, but I think we’re all hopeful,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

Buxton last played in a big-league game on April 12.

BRIEFLY

Class A Cedar Rapids right-hander Blayne Enlow was placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Enlow, 19, had a 5.00 earned run average in two starts after receiving a $2 million signing bonus as a third-round draft pick last June.

Former Twins relief prospect Luke Bard, lost to the Los Angeles Angels in the Rule 5 draft in December, was designated for assignment. Scouts expect Bard to be claimed if the Angels try to sneak him through waivers after he posted a 5.40 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings. Bard, whose four-seam fastball leads the majors in spin rate at 2,770 rpm, would have to be offered back to the Twins for $50,000 if the Angels attempt to option him to the minors.

Twins' Logan Morrison on ailing former teammate Danny Farquhar: 'An awesome human being'

Twins' Logan Morrison on ailing former teammate Danny Farquhar: 'An awesome human being'

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage that caused Chicago White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar to collapse in the dugout during a game on Friday night remained a source of great concern for his former teammates in the Twins’ clubhouse.

Pitcher Jake Odorizzi and first baseman Logan Morrison played with Farquhar the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. Morrison and Farquhar were teammates in 2014-15 as well with the Seattle Mariners.

“I’m lying in bed last night and can’t sleep, thinking about it,” Morrison said Sunday morning. “You just want to know how he’s going to be. Is he going to be all right?”

Farquhar, 31, was in stable but critical condition at a Chicago-area hospital, according to the White Sox. He had just returned to the dugout after recording two outs and give up two runs to the Houston Astros in the sixth inning when he vomited before losing consciousness.

The game was halted as an ambulance was summoned to take Farquhar to the hospital.

“When I think about that, it’s not him as a baseball player, just him as a dad, him as a husband,” Morrison said. “He’s an awesome human being and he would do anything for you. Unfortunately bad things happen to good people.”

Christie Morrison, Logan’s wife, sent a text message of support to Lexi Farquhar, Danny’s wife. The couple has three young children.

“We spent a lot of time together, you know?” Morrison said. “With his family and knowing his kids. I haven’t got to meet Liam yet, but Landon and Madison and his wife Lexi, my heart goes out to them for sure. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling right now.”

The lack of warning signs is another troubling aspect for Farquhar’s many friends in the game.

“He’s in great shape,” Morrison said. “He eats right, he’s healthy and had a headache and then threw up and then he passed out. Just crazy. Just another reminder, man, don’t take anything for granted.”

OAKLAND CONNECTION

Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston was ironing his shirt Saturday night in his hotel room when his phone buzzed with a no-hitter alert regarding one of his former Oakland A’s pupils. It was left-hander Sean Manaea who was closing in on history against the Boston Red Sox.

“I said, ‘What?’ and I literally just turned it on and stayed up and watched it,” said Alston, who saw the last six outs of the season’s first no-hitter. “I watched the whole thing come through and I was happy for him. He has that type of stuff. He’s a good kid. They call him ‘Baby Giraffe.’ He’s a youngun.”

Alston was Oakland’s minor-league pitching coordinator in 2015 when Manaea, 26, was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in a trade for Ben Zobrist. Alston worked with Manaea again last year after a midseason promotion to become the A’s bullpen coach.

“When he came over we worked together quite a bit,” Alston said. “I sent him a text and told him, ‘Wonderful job. Keep it going. Congratulations.’ He texted me back and said, ‘Thanks, G.’ “

Alston also texted his congrats to A’s manager Bob Melvin, pitching coach Scott Emerson and the rest of the A’s coaching staff.

“Emo, that’s my guy,” Alston said. “It’s very rare to get that opportunity in the big leagues, so when you get it you’ve got to just soak it up. I was happy for him.”

BUXTON ON REHAB

Byron Buxton (migraines) came through Saturday’s batting practice with no issues and was set to serve as the designated hitter for Class A Fort Myers in Bradenton, Fla., on Sunday.

Provided he has no setbacks, Buxton is slated to play center field on Monday and Tuesday in Clearwater, Fla., and could come off the 10-day disabled list as soon as Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

“We don’t have to commit to that, but I think we’re all hopeful,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

Buxton last played in a big-league game on April 12.

BRIEFLY

Class A Cedar Rapids right-hander Blayne Enlow was placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Enlow, 19, had a 5.00 earned run average in two starts after receiving a $2 million signing bonus as a third-round draft pick last June.

Former Twins relief prospect Luke Bard, lost to the Los Angeles Angels in the Rule 5 draft in December, was designated for assignment. Scouts expect Bard to be claimed if the Angels try to sneak him through waivers after he posted a 5.40 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings. Bard, whose four-seam fastball leads the majors in spin rate at 2,770 rpm, would have to be offered back to the Twins for $50,000 if the Angels attempt to option him to the minors.