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Hughes scratched from today's start

New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes winds

New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes winds up for a throwa to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park. (Aug. 31, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

Phil Hughes has been scratched from starting Game 1 of today’s day-night doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays because of back spasms.

Hector Noesi (2-1, 4.01 ERA) will start and oppose James Shields (15-11, 2.78). This will be Noesi's first start of his major-league career.

Hughes, originally scheduled to start Monday afternoon against the Twins, experienced back spasms after his bullpen session last Friday in Toronto. Before last night’s game, Joe Girardi told the media that Hughes’ back was better, but was still not a lock to start today.

“It’s kind of lingered on,” Girardi said. “We’re going to have to see how he physically does and if he’s able to make another start for us. I would think that that would be possible.”

Hughes is 5-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 15 games this year.

The Yankees can clinch a playoff spot if they beat Tampa Bay in either game of the doubleheader. The Yanks can clinch the AL East title if they sweep the doubleheader and Baltimore beats Boston tonight.


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