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Updated: June 7th, 2014 12:05am
Not quite as sharp, Phil Hughes allows 3 home runs in loss to Astros

Not quite as sharp, Phil Hughes allows 3 home runs in loss to Astros

by The Associated Press
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Dallas Keuchel shut out Minnesota for six innings, George Springer hit his 11th home run and the Houston Astros held on to beat the Twins 5-4 Friday night.

Marwin Gonzalez and Matt Dominguez also homered off Phil Hughes (6-2), who lost for the first time in nine starts. The Astros have won six straight road games and 10 of their last 13 overall.

Danny Santana hit his first career home run, a two-run shot in the seventh inning off reliever Tony Sipp as the Twins tried to rally late.

After the first pitch was delayed 1 hour, 21 minutes, by a storm that never arrived, Keuchel (7-3) struck out six and won for the fifth time in his last six starts.

Springer drove a pitch from Hughes that was down and away and off the plate an estimated 402 feet to the opposite field in the sixth to give Houston a 5-0 lead.

It was Springer's first homer in June after he hit 10 in May and was selected the American League rookie of the month.

Since May 11, Houston is 16-9 and on track to avoid 100-plus losses for the first time since the 2010 season.

Gonzalez pulled back on a drag bunt attempt in the third, then lined the next pitch over the right-field wall to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Dominguez drove a high fastball from Hughes to straightaway center in the fourth, hitting it just far enough to get it over the glove of a leaping Aaron Hicks.

It was the first time Hughes allowed multiple homers since his first start of the season April 3. Coming into the game, Hughes had allowed only four home runs all season and just one in his last 48 innings.

Chad Qualls pitched around a two-out throwing error by Dominguez in the ninth to earn his seventh save in eight chances.

Eduardo Escobar had three hits and an RBI double that made it 5-4 with two outs in the eighth.

Oswaldo Arcia, who homered in his previous two games but didn't start because of a sprained ankle, pinch-hit and flied out on the first pitch from lefty Darin Downs.

The Twins could have tied the game in the eighth if not for Dexter Fowler's spectacular, diving catch that robbed Trevor Plouffe of extra bases leading off the inning.

About 10 minutes before the first pitch, the Target Field grounds crew rolled out the infield tarp in anticipation of a storm that was approaching the area. It never rained during the delay, but light rain did fall in the early innings.

Game notes

--Plouffe hit his 22nd double in the fourth inning, tying a career high.

--Minnesota has drafted eight college pitchers in the first 10 rounds of the MLB draft.

© The Associated Press
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