Phil Hughes leaves start with strained hip flexor

4 Comments

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).

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

toronto blue jays
Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
1 Comment

TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.