Twins hope to break the brooms out on BoSox

( - Phil Hughes eyes his fourth straight winning decision on Wednesday when the Minnesota Twins try to complete a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Target Field.

Hughes had won three straight starts before receiving a no-decision versus Chicago on Friday. He pitched well, though, in that one, allowing a pair of runs and eight hits in seven innings of his team's 3-2 loss.

"I thought tonight could've been seven or eight shutout for me if a few things happened different for me that inning," said Hughes, who is 3-4 with a 4.50 ERA. "But overall, I feel like I've been throwing the ball OK. My stuff has been very mediocre so I've had to rely on location and getting outs that way."

Hughes has not fared well against the Red Sox, posting a 5-8 mark with a 5.12 ERA in 24 games (15 starts).

Boston, meanwhile, turns to righty Rick Porcello, who is 4-3 with a 5.07 ERA. Porcello had a forgettable outing on Friday against Los Angeles that saw him surrender seven runs and seven hits with three walks in 4 1/3 innings.

"I take full responsibility for the loss today," said Porcello, who had posted a 2.84 ERA in five starts since his last loss April 19.. "That was completely on me and I've got to be better."

Porcello is 8-7 lifetime versus the Twins with a 3.91 ERA in 23 starts.

Minnesota continued to roll on Tuesday, as Mike Pelfrey threw seven solid innings and the streaking Twins eked out a 2-1 win.

Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki both hit RBI doubles in the first inning, and Pelfrey and Glen Perkins made the lead stand. Pelfrey (4-1) limited Boston to one run on five hits, while Perkins recorded a four-out save.

The Twins, who have won four straight, 18 of 24 overall and are within one game of the AL Central-leading Royals, haven't swept the Red Sox in a three- game set since June 13-15, 2006, at the Metrodome.

"It's all about going out there on the first pitch...and being ready," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "The offense and defense has to be ready."

Clay Buchholz (2-6) suffered another tough-luck loss after allowing two runs on six hits over 7 1/3 frames. He has dropped six of his last seven decisions despite six quality starts over that stretch.

Boston won four of its six matchups with the Twins last season.