Phil Hughes leaves start with strained hip flexor

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Phil Hughes exited today’s start against the Tigers after just five innings and 71 pitches with what the Twins are calling a mild left hip flexor strain.

At the time the Twins were up 7-3, but relievers Tim Stauffer and Aaron Thompson combined to allow three homers in the next inning to turn it into a 7-7 tie. That means Hughes remains winless on the season despite a 4.55 ERA and fantastic 26/2 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.

Minnesota already has Ricky Nolasco on the disabled list and Ervin Santana suspended until July, so if Hughes is sidelined the rotation will be relying an awful lot on Tommy Milone, Mike Pelfrey, Trevor May, and Kyle Gibson. In other words, things could get ugly (or uglier).

Anthony Rizzo to wear walking boot for five to seven days

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Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.

Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.

Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.