Minnesota earns 3-1 win over San Diego Padres
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas hit his first major league home run, a three-run blast in the sixth inning Tuesday, to give Minnesota a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres at Target Field.
Just 48 hours after posting 16 runs in a 16-3 rout of the Chicago White Sox, the Twins struggled to get any offense going against Padres right-hander Jesse Hahn, who held Minnesota to only two hits through five superb innings.
But the Twins got the offense going in the sixth, getting a double from second baseman Brian Dozier and a walk from third baseman Trevor Plouffe ahead of the middle of the order. Hahn got designated hitter Josh Willingham to swing and miss on a big, sweeping curveball for the second out, and tried the same approach with Vargas one batter later.
Vargas hit the offering into the right-field seats, making him the eighth Twin in franchise history to hit his first career homer in his home debut.
The blast made a winner of Twins righty Phil Hughes, who tossed six innings of one-run ball for his 11th victory of the season. Closer Glen Perkins allowed a pair of singles in the ninth, but worked out of the jam for his 28th save.
The Padres took the lead in the fifth inning on a massive leadoff homer by first baseman Yonder Alonso, his sixth of the season.
Alonso's double in the second inning nearly put San Diego in front, but catcher Yasmani Grandal was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first.
NOTES: OF Jordan Schafer, playing in his first game with the Twins, started in left field and batted ninth. In his initial at-bat, he singled and stole a base. Schafer was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. ... Twins 1B Joe Mauer and RHP Ricky Nolasco both began rehab assignments with Class A Cedar Rapids on Tuesday. Mauer, out since July 2 with an oblique strain, went 1-for-3 and scored a run. Nolasco, sidelined a month due to a sore right elbow, threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings. ... Padres RHP Andrew Cashner is set to make a rehab start for Class A Lake Elsinore on Friday, when he will throw 30-40 pitches. From there, he could advance to Triple-A El Paso.