MINNEAPOLIS - Phil Hughes threw seven strong innings and Josmil Pinto hit his fifth homer of the season and the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Saturday.
Hughes (2-1) had six strikeouts with no walks. He retired 16 straight at one point and has won two straight - a welcome sight for a Twins rotation that had produced only six quality starts this season.
"After the first, I was kind of coming apart a bit, not really staying within myself, overthrowing a little bit and coming out of my mechanics, but I was able to settle down a little bit and get on kind of a roll, which was nice," Hughes said.
Detroit led 2-0 before starter Anibal Sanchez left in the third with a blister on his middle finger on his throwing hand, forcing newly recalled Jose Ortega (0-1) into action.
Ortega, who had just arrived from Triple-A Toledo, and Phil Coke then combined to walk six Twins batters - five in the fifth.
A throwing error by catcher Bryan Holaday and a bases-loaded walk by Coke allowed Minnesota to tie the game in the fifth without a hit.
"As we've talked about many times, we're taking our walks, getting people on and you score runs like that," said Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire. "We always know that when we walk people, most of the time they score."
Trevor Plouffe's two-RBI single off Coke to score Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier put the Twins ahead for good, and Pinto's homer off Al Albuquerque in the eighth provided an insurance run.
In the at bat prior to the single, Plouffe got hit in the arm by a pitch. He left the game, but x-rays were negative. Gardenhire said that he will be day-to-day.