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DET@MIN: Hughes fans six, allows one earned run

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins righty Phil Hughes is hoping he can build off some momentum and perhaps take a page from Minnesota's recent starters, who have been excellent in the first two games of the series against the Orioles.

Hughes turned in the best outing of the still-early season in his last game, holding Detroit to one earned run over seven innings with six strikeouts. He got 12 outs in the air in that contest.

"It's kind of what I do," Hughes said. "I attack most of the time with a four-seam fastball. I like to stay down in the zone for the most part, but every once in a while, I pop a fastball up and get a lot of popups and flyouts."

Hughes will be following the impressive acts of Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Correia, who each went at least seven innings to help Minnesota's bullpen get back on its feet. The Orioles, who got a strong 7 1/3-inning outing from Ubaldo Jimenez in Friday's opener, couldn't sustain that success as lefty Wei-Yin Chen went five-plus frames on Saturday. Both teams entered the series coming off a doubleheader, and pitching depth has been at a premium.

Baltimore will turn to Miguel Gonzalez -- who was in the bullpen in case of emergency Friday -- to help right the ship on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander is coming off a loss against the Royals in which Gonzalez gave the Orioles six good innings but was victim to a pair of botched plays in the field. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

The O's, who had no answer for Royals starter James Shields, will hope to give Gonzalez a little more offense. Baltimore is missing slugger Chris Davis, but Nelson Cruz has provided a lift, as the offseason acquisition has helped carried the lineup in the first month.

Cruz connected for a two-run homer in Friday's game and entered Saturday with an American League-leading 21 RBIs on the road.

"You are always trying to be respectful to the game and the other team, but I was kind of going to myself, 'I'm glad I got to be there for that,'" Showalter said of Cruz's last homer, which hit off the third-deck railing at Target Field. "You try to not make any facial expressions."

Twins: Prospect Santana called up
The Twins made it official on Saturday, as they placed right-hander Mike Pelfrey on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain and recalled shortstop Danny Santana from Triple-A Rochester.

Santana joined the Twins on Saturday, but he wasn't in the starting lineup. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he plans to use Santana in a variety of roles, including the outfield, with Santana getting work there during batting practice before Saturday's game.

"We'll use him in the infield, outfield, whatever," Gardenhire said. "We just needed a body, and he was on the roster. We liked him in Spring Training. He can run. He can play the outfield, so he's going to take some fly balls in the outfield. So we'll find ways to get him in there."

Santana, ranked as the club's No. 10 prospect by, was hitting .268/.311/.381 with seven doubles and four stolen bases in 24 games at Rochester. Santana said he found out the news he'd be called up from Rochester manager Gene Glynn while taking batting practice on Friday, and he arrived in the Twin Cities at around 1 a.m.

Orioles: Davis progressing
First baseman Davis continues to progress favorably from a left oblique strain, as he was out at Target Field prior to Baltimore's game against the Twins doing some exercises.

Davis did some resistance band work with strength and conditioning coach Joe Hogarty, including some light running drills and stretching. The O's have been encouraged with how Davis, placed on the disabled list officially on Sunday, has responded since getting a pair of platelet-rich plasma injections to help the healing process on Monday.

"He's doing some things a little earlier than some guys do with that injury," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That's kind of good to see. He's been in the pool doing some movement."

Davis is eligible to come off the DL on May 11. Comments