Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tim Stauffer Tosses Six Scoreless for Padres; Luke Hughes Helps Twins Down Tigers

Players of the Day for Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grapefruit League

Things seem to be heating up in Florida's Grapefruit League. A casual observer might even believe that some teams are a little annoyed that the Detroit Tigers have traveled around the state beating the heck out of the other squads with an air of smug contentment.

Luke Hughes
That may or may not be the case, but the Minnesota Twins gave Detroit a bit of their own medicine with a 7-3 win Wednesday, knocking around their first two pitchers for seven runs in the first five innings.

Luke Hughes, a AAA Rochester farmhand who played 96 games - mostly at second base - for the Twins in 2011, singled, socked a home run, stole a base, drove in three runs and scored twice in three at-bats to pace the Minnesota batters.

Hughes has toiled in the minors since 2003 and will probably be delegated back to the triple-A Red Wings once the regular season begins, unless Alexi Casilla, the regular second baseman, gets injured again, as in 2011.

The win pushed Minnesota's record to 12-8, though they still trail the 13-4 Tigers in the standings by three games. St. Louis and Toronto are also in the hunt for Grapefruit glory.

Cactus League

Tim Stauffer
The Padres took it to the Dodgers, 3-0, in Cactus League action as Tim Stauffer had a very solid outing for San Diego, a team that was out of the pennant picture as early as June last season.

If the Padres intend to compete in the NL West, they'll need a good season of work out of Stauffer and their other starters in the pitching-rich division.

Stauffer worked the first six innings of the game, allowing just three hits and no runs while fanning two batters. He demonstrated great control in not allowing a single walk, getting his first win of the spring.

Stauffer started 31 games for San Diego in 2011, compiling a 9-12 record with a 3.73 ERA. His most recent stint was easily his best showing of the exhibition season.

The Padres are a respectable 11-8 in Cactus League play.

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