MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kevin Slowey has always wanted to be in the Minnesota Twins starting rotation.
He finally got his first full opportunity of the season, and the New York Yankees welcomed him back with a beating.
Slowey gave up six runs on nine hits in 5 2-3 innings, including two home runs to catcher Russell Martin in an 8-1 loss to the Yankees on Friday night.
Slowey (0-1) walked one and struck out four, falling victim to a lineup that has scored at least seven runs in six of the last eight games as they have slugged their way to the top of the AL East.
``It's a tough lineup,' Slowey said. ``You've got to make good pitches. I didn't make enough good pitches. I left the ball up. Even the outs early in the game were pretty loud outs, line drives at guys.'
Martin went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Hughes (4-4) gave up one run on two hits in 7 2-3 innings for the Yankees.
Trevor Plouffe hit a solo homer in the first inning, but that was about all the Twins could muster against Hughes. They only had one other runner past first base, when Hughes walked two batters in the seventh.
``Not a good baseball game,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``Pretty much dominated by Hughes. Two hits up on the board pretty much tells you what we did due to his performance.'
After going 13-6 in 2010, the right-hander lost a competition for the final spot in the rotation out of spring training and then chafed at being placed in the bullpen. After six appearances, he went on the disabled list on May 25 with an abdominal injury and took two months to work his way back.
Slowey started the game on Sunday in Cleveland, but it was rained out after two innings.
He got through the first two innings unscathed, but gave up a solo homer to Martin in the third and Robinson Cano followed with an RBI double in the fourth to give the Yankees the lead.
Curtis Granderson's double hopped over the first base bag in the fifth to score another run and Derek Jeter's pretty slide at home beat Joe Mauer's tag to make it 4-1.
Martin's two-run shot in the sixth made it 6-1 and ended Slowey's night.
``Slowey was battling,' Gardenhire said. ``A lot of pitches early, a lot of high counts and then they put a couple in the seats. That's what this team over there does, they just grind you down.'
Mark Teixeira had two hits and three RBIs, two on a double in the ninth inning off of Anthony Swarzak.
``I think he was just establishing that fastball early, getting ahead of hitters, then mixing in his cutter,' Plouffe said of Hughes. ``A lot of his pitches come out of the same arm angle. That's what makes him tough.'
Luke Hughes was the only other Twins player to get a hit on Friday night, a soft single in the eighth inning. The Twins have lost 10 of their last 13 games to fall 16 games below .500. They are 1-8 in their last nine at home after leading the AL in home wins last season.
``I certainly wanted to go out there and throw better and feel better, especially there towards the end,' Slowey said. ``I felt like I had the opportunity to keep us in the game in those middle innings, and didn't. So, disappointed for that.'
NOTES: The Twins honored closer Joe Nathan before the game for becoming the franchise's career saves leader in their last home game on Aug. 10. ... The Twins announced that the game that was rained out on Sunday at Cleveland will be made up as a day-night doubleheader on Sept. 24. ... Teixeira's three RBIs gave him 1,000 for his career. ... The Twins are 9-23 against the AL East this season. ... Francisco Liriano (8-9, 5.12) will take the mound for the Twins on Saturday against A.J. Burnett (9-9, 4.61). Burnett snapped a seven-start winless skid in his last outing against the Royals, going 5 2-3 innings and allowing three runs. It was his first victory since June 29. Liriano has pitched past the sixth inning just once in his last six starts, going 2-2 with a 6.12 ERA in that span. ... The Yankees announced that RHP Ivan Nova will start the series finale on Sunday against Nick Blackburn.
The Associated Press News Service
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