Hughes exits after 5 innings for Twins with hip flexor strain; status day to day

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Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes left his start Wednesday after five innings because of a mild strain of his left hip flexor muscle.

Hughes left with the Twins ahead of Detroit, the first lead he'd pitched with this season, but relievers Tim Stauffer and Aaron Thompson let the Tigers tie the game in the sixth. Hughes threw 71 pitches, striking out four while allowing seven hits, but he stayed winless in five turns.

The tightness he felt after his previous start resurfaced in the third inning against the Tigers and worsened after that. In the dugout after the fifth, he reported his discomfort to the coaching staff.

"It just got to the point where my front foot would land and I couldn't move after that. It just kind of got locked up, repeatedly," Hughes said. "I could've pitched through it. It's one of those things that I have to say something about it. I don't want them to think that I'm 100 percent."

Center fielder Jordan Schafer was also hurt and left the game early with a mild sprain of his medial collateral ligament. He stumbled on his turn toward second base after a bunt single in the sixth and was replaced by pinch-runner Shane Robinson. Then in the ninth, right-hander Casey Fien left during an at-bat by Victor Martinez with aggravation of a shoulder injury that hampered him earlier this month.

Manager Paul Molitor said the disabled list would be a possibility, but after the Twins lost 10-7 all the injured players were considered day to day.

"We're going to give them all a chance and see how they respond. We're not going to act too irrationally and do something until we have enough information," he said.

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