BALTIMORE -- The Minnesota Twins were counting on their best pitcher to pull the team out of its latest funk, and Phil Hughes delivered. Hughes held Baltimore without an earned run over eight innings, Joe Mauer had four RBIs and the Twins won 6-4 Monday to avoid a four-game sweep. Nelson Cruz hit his major-league leading 36th home run and Nick Hundley had a three-run shot for the Orioles, whose lead in the AL East over the idle New York Yankees slipped to 8 1/2 games. After being outscored 24-11 in the first three games of the series, Minnesota won for only the second time in nine tries. Hughes (15-9) gave up five hits, no walks and three unearned runs. The right-hander has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his last six starts. "Hes been huge," Mauer said. "Whenever we give him the ball, we feel like we have a real good chance of winning." Following a 4-14 season with the Yankees last year, Hughes has accounted for 25 per cent of Minnesotas 60 wins. "I feel like I got away with a lot of mistakes today," the right-hander said. "But I had good enough stuff to overcome that and was able to make some pitches. That was kind of the story." Mauer tripled in two runs in the sixth inning and added a two-run single in the eighth to put Minnesota ahead for good. The victory provided the last-place Twins with reason to believe they can put a positive finish on a miserable season. "Were 1-0 in September and we need Joe to pick us up," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Lets have a good September here. Thats kind of our battle cry, and its going to be led by him, no doubt." Hughes should play a part, too. "Hes had a solid year for them," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Hes always taking the ball, giving innings. Hes a good addition." After Hughes left, Glen Perkins gave up a leadoff homer to Cruz in the ninth before getting three straight outs for his 33rd save. Hughes and Orioles rookie Kevin Gausman (7-7) matched zeroes until the sixth inning, when the Twins took a 3-0 lead. Danny Santana and Brian Dozier hit one-out singles before Mauer hit an opposite-field liner to left that bounced off the wall toward centre. Mauer ended up with his second triple of the season, and Kennys Vargas followed with a sacrifice fly. In the seventh, a single and a throwing error by third baseman Trevor Plouffe preceded Hundleys two-out drive into the left-field seats. The deadlock didnt last long. Gausman gave up a leadoff walk in the eighth, and an error by third baseman Jimmy Paredes put runners on second and third with no outs. Mauer singled off Andrew Miller, took second on the throw to the plate and scored on a single by Vargas. "It kind of (stinks) that I walked the leadoff guy in the eighth inning," Gausman said. "That kind of came back to bite us." Gausman allowed five hits and four earned runs in a career-high 7 1-3 innings, losing his third straight start. "I thought I threw the ball where I wanted to," he said. "A lot of their hitters are down hitters, so I think fastball up was a big pitch for me today. I used it effectively. I mixed in all my pitches." TRAINERS ROOM Twins: C Kurt Suzuki, who sat out Sundays game after taking a foul tip in the chin on Saturday night, returned to the starting lineup. Orioles: 1B Steve Pearce missed a third straight game with an abdominal strain, but Showalter said Pearce is improving and should be back in a day or two. Also, SS J.J. Hardy was pulled after the seventh inning with back spasms. "I sure hope Ill be in there (Tuesday)," he said. "I think getting out of there today was probably the right decision." UP NEXT Twins: The Twins return home to face the White Sox on Tuesday night. Minnesota starter Tommy Milone is 1-0 with an 0.86 ERA against Chicago. Orioles: Baltimore opens a three-game interleague series against visiting Cincinnati. The Orioles havent lost two in a row at home since June 28-29. Jayson Werth Jersey
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. -- Orleans Darkwa ran in from 1 yard with 1:45 left, and the Miami Dolphins rallied from two scores down in the final minutes to beat the Dallas Cowboys 25-20 on Saturday night.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls will look to get into the win column Thursday night when they host the New York Knicks in their home opener. The Bulls had a tough go of it Tuesday night when they opened their campaign with a 107-95 setback to the defending champion Miami Heat in South Beach. On that night, the Heat hung another championship banner and received their rings, while Chicago welcomed back its superstar. Derrick Rose, who missed all of last season recovering from a torn ACL, returned to the Bulls lineup. The 2011 MVP showed a lot of the burst that earned him the MVP trophy, but only finished with 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting, and committed five turnovers in about 34 minutes of action. "If anything Im disappointed in the loss," Rose said. "My performance, I can easily change that by making shots and turning down the turnovers. Its something we can learn from. Its not the end of the world; its not the playoffs where were going to be eliminated. We can fix things." Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler were plagued by early foul trouble and the vaunted Bulls defense was torched for 37 second-quarter points. Deng only managed four points, but Butler had a great second half and registered 20 points. It was a great night for Carlos Boozer, who scored a game-high 31 points, but All-Star center Joakim Noah had a rough go of things with two points and 11 rebounds. Noah was eased back into action after missing a significant portion of the preseason with a groin strain. The Knicks kicked off their Atlantic Division title defense Weednesday night with a hard-fought 90-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.dddddddddddd After jumping out to a 25-point halftime lead, the Knicks got smoked in the third quarter and had to play 48 demanding minutes to get the victory. The Knicks committed 22 turnovers in the win. "Thats not us," said New York head coach Mike Woodson. "Last year, we led the league in not turning it over." Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton chipped in with 18, followed by 16 from Iman Shumpert and 10 from Tyson Chandler. Woodson elected to return to the starting lineup the Knicks used late last season, when New York played great defense and won 13 in a row and 16 of its last 18. Metta World Peace played the most minutes off the bench for the Knicks with a shade under 18. Andrea Bargnani, the former No. 1 overall pick who came over in an offseason trade with the Toronto Raptors, only had six points in his New York debut. "I have to build and get our second unit in gear," admitted Woodson. "We have to get them comfortable with what were doing." Amare Stoudemire, who underwent another knee procedure this summer, did not play despite claims that he was healthy enough to go. J.R. Smith, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, was suspended the first five games of the season in accordance with the leagues drug policy. The Bulls swept the season series with the Knicks last year and have won eight of their last nine at home against New York. Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys 2018 Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping
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