Hughes feels good in Minor League outing

Twins' Opening Day starter pitches six solid innings

Hughes feels good in Minor League outing

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With right-hander Trevor May taking the mound in the Grapefruit League game against the Pirates, fellow right-hander Phil Hughes pitched in a Minor League game at the Twins' complex on Friday.

Hughes, facing Class A Advanced Port Charlotte, went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits, including a two-run homer to prospect Jake Bauers, who was acquired by the Rays in the trade that sent Wil Myers to the Padres. Hughes struck out seven and threw 69 pitches. He also threw 20 more pitches in the bullpen to reach his pitch count.

"I was pounding the zone and feeling good with everything I was throwing," Hughes said. "I felt good that I was able to throw all my pitches. I mixed a couple changeups in, cutters were good and the curveballs were hit or miss. But overall, I felt like I had a pretty good fastball."

Hughes was sharp outside of the fourth inning, when he gave up three runs, including the two-run blast to Bauers. Hughes was frustrated after giving up those three runs, but he chalked it up to his competitive nature.

"I felt like I threw him a good backdoor cutter he fouled off and a good fastball he fouled off, but then I threw him a terrible curveball," Hughes said. "So I was little ticked. But I get mad in bullpens, so I'll get mad in Minor League games, too. But it's good to go out there and face some adversity instead of just breezing through six innings."

Hughes, who will be the club's Opening Day starter against the Tigers in Detroit on April 6, has just one more start left. But he said he hasn't been told if he'll ramp up his pitch count to get over 100 pitches or back off and ease into the season. Hughes said he's fine either way.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.