Twins scratch Hughes (illness); Milone to start vs Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes was scratched from his start at Cleveland on Monday night because of an illness and will be replaced by left-hander Tommy Milone.
Both teams are in contention for the second AL wild card heading into their four-game series. The Twins trail Houston by 1 1/2 games, while the Indians are four games out.
Hughes is 11-9 with a 4.43 ERA in 25 starts. Milone is 8-5 with a 4.08 ERA.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said a virus has affected the team in recent days, including Hughes, third baseman Trevor Plouffe and relievers Brian Duensing and Kevin Jepsen.
Minnesota also trails the Los Angeles Angels by a half-game in the wild-card standings with seven games to play. The Twins must pass two teams with several players feeling under the weather.
''The games are dwindling and we're trying to play catch-up, but I think the guys' focus is good,'' Molitor said.
Molitor said he decided around 3 p.m. to scratch Hughes, who received an IV at the ballpark Monday. Kyle Gibson, Mike Pelfrey and Tyler Duffey will start the final three games against Cleveland.
Ervin Santana will start the opener of a three-game series Friday against Kansas City, leaving Hughes or Milone to start Saturday.
''We're set for this series, but depending on where we're at, we might need one Saturday,'' Molitor said.