MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — While Phil Hughes had no chance to get out of the way of a hard-hit chopper from Adam Dunn, it does appear as though he will dodge a stint on the disabled list.
The Minnesota Twins’ best pitcher was knocked out of a 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning on Thursday night after being hit by Dunn’s comebacker.
The ball struck Hughes just above the right ankle and hurt so bad that Hughes had a hard time putting any weight on his leg. But after X-rays showed no broken bones, only a bruised right shin, Hughes was hopeful he would be able to make his next start.
“It wasn’t like one of those glancing blows,” Hughes said. “It shot right back, and I couldn’t even go after the ball. It hurt so bad, I knew something was up. I’m really thankful it’s not broken. Upset I couldn’t continue, but it’s the way it goes.”
Hughes (10-7) gave up two runs on four hits and struck out four in three innings. The Twins’ rotation woes of the last three seasons have carried over into this year, and they can’t afford to lose the one steady, reliable pitcher they’ve had this season.
In a season that is threatening to swirl down the drain, Hughes has been one of the few bright spots for the last-place Twins. He signed a three-year, $24 million contract in the offseason and has been a rock in an otherwise shaky rotation.
“With the way the rotation is looking right now, I feel a responsibility to get out there and not miss any time,” Hughes said. “So that’s what I’ll try to do.”