MINNEAPOLIS — Early control problems kept Diamondbacks starter Vidal Nuno from ending an inglorious streak.
The Arizona hitters didn't provide much help, either.
Phil Hughes set a single-season major league record for strikeout-to-walk ratio, pitching eight strong innings for the Minnesota Twins in a 2-1 victory over the Diamondbacks on a wet Wednesday afternoon.
Arizona lost 12 of its last 13 on the road — scoring just 31 runs in the process — to finish 31-50 away from Chase Field.
"Same stuff all year. We're playing hard, having some good at-bats, but just not having the good at-bats when we need them," said center fielder A.J. Pollock.
Arizona was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Nuno finished 0-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 14 starts for the Diamondbacks since he was acquired July 6 from the New York Yankees in the Brandon McCarthy trade. He went 2-5 with a 5.42 ERA in 17 appearances for the Yankees.
Nuno won't let his win-loss record ruin what he considers a promising finish to the season, especially after smoothing out some mechanical issues, such as his arm slot, since joining the Diamondbacks. He's allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his past eight starts.
"It's all about quality starts and getting deep into ball games so the bullpen don't get used that much and I've been doing that lately," Nuno said. "There's one good stride I made, but next year is another year."
Against the Twins, Nuno allowed three hits and two earned runs in five innings while striking out six.
But he tied a season high with four walks, including back-to-back-to-back free passes that led to a run in the first.
In the second, he hit Eduardo Escobar with one out. Danny Santana and Brian Dozier singled to load the bases and set up a sacrifice fly. Nuno needed 62 pitches to get six outs, but just 43 in facing the minimum number of batters in each of the next three innings.
"I just told myself to pitch your game and just calm down and just go out there and have fun," Nuno said.
Hughes (16-10) finished his first year with the Twins with the same number of wins and walks. With 186 strikeouts, his 11.63 ratio became the best of all time for pitchers with a qualifying amount of innings. Hughes beat Bret Saberhagen, who had 143 strikeouts and 13 walks for the New York Mets in 1994 for an 11.00 ratio.
Bobby Wilson was the catcher for the Diamondbacks, his first major league start in almost two years when he played for the Los Angeles Angels. Wilson, who made his major league debut for the Angels in 2008, spent the 2013 season with Yankees Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and this year with Triple-A Reno until the Diamondbacks called him up last week.
Diamondbacks: INF Aaron Hill, who dislocated the tip of his right pinky Monday night, missed his second straight game.
Diamondbacks: Arizona has Thursday off before returning home to finish the season against St. Louis, the NL Central leader still seeking to clinch a third straight division title. Trevor Cahill (3-12, 5.55), who is winless in his last six starts with 25 earned runs surrendered in 28 1-3 innings, will start for Arizona against Michael Wacha (5-6, 3.18).
All content copyright ©2014 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.