Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes throws to the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Bruce Kluckhohn
May 22, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Phil Hughes was forced out of his previous start in the sixth inning because shoulder fatigue. The first inning was Hughes' downfall Sunday.

Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson started the game with back-to-back home runs in a three-run first inning, and Marcus Stroman bounced back from his worst major league start to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the Twins 3-1.

Bautista homered on the fourth pitch from Hughes (1-7), his 14th home run in 21 career games at Target Field. Donaldson, ejected in the first inning Saturday, connected three pitches later for his 11th home run, a 425-foot drive to straightaway center field.

''It didn't start out well,'' Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said after the Twins dropped to a big league-worst 11-32). ''He's coming off an outing where he had to deal with some issues and he was anxious to get back out there, and then you give up a couple back-to-backs.''

Troy Tulowitzki added an RBI double later in the inning against Hughes, who leads the major leagues in losses. Hughes settled in, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings.

''Giving up three runs, it's a tall task for our guys to dig our way out of a hole,'' Hughes said. ''Stroman was on his game today and couldn't come back from that. It's tough. You feel like you have decent stuff with a chance to pitch a pretty good game.''

Hughes left his prior start after 75 pitches, despite giving up just three hits, when he complained of fatigue in his pitching shoulder. He said he felt fine Sunday in departing after 96 pitches.

Toronto manager John Gibbons was ejected in the fifth inning after Hughes threw two pitches to Donaldson in the fifth, one inside and one behind the AL MVP.

Donaldson expressed his displeasure to plate umpire Mark Ripperger. Gibbons came out of the dugout and argued with Ripperger and West, who came in from his spot at first base, then was tossed. Stroman hit Suzuki with a pitch in the bottom of the inning.

''Any time a pitch is behind you, a hitter's going to react a certain way,'' Hughes said. ''That's just part of the game. Obviously, the umpires didn't have a problem with it.''

Kurt Suzuki hit an RBI groundout in the second after Oswaldo Arcia's double put runners at second and third, starting a stretch in which Stroman (5-1) retired 17 of 18 batters.

''It's tough,'' Molitor said. ''You can only do so much as far as how you're going to change it up and get people in there to try to spell some people, to try to get them going. We've tried days off, we've tried changing the spots, but collectively it makes it tough to try to have any rhythm or momentum or flow.''


Minnesota closer Glen Perkins said Sunday he will back off his throwing program as he tries to rehab from a left posterior shoulder strain. Perkins said he played catch Thursday from 120 feet with more effort than he had previously, and ''just doesn't feel right.''


Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (right shoulder strain) is to throw about 60 pitches in an injury rehabilitation assignment with Class A Fort Myers on Sunday and is expected to increase to 90 pitches in an outing on Friday. . General manager Terry Ryan said SS Eduardo Escobar is nearing a return from a left groin strain as he continues his rehab assignment at Fort Myers.


Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound to start a home series against Kansas City and RHP Ian Kennedy (4-3, 3.24). Nolasco has allowed at least four runs in each of his last five outings.

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