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Associated Press, Published April 18 2012

Twins cut Hughes to make room for Marquis

NEW YORK – The Minnesota Twins cut infielder Luke Hughes to open a roster spot for pitcher Jason Marquis, who was recalled from Double-A New Britain to start Wednesday night against the New York Yankees.

Hughes, who is from Australia, appeared in four games for the Twins this season. He was 2 for 10 at the plate with two RBIs and a stolen base.

The team has 10 days to trade, release or send him outright to the minors. If the Twins want to keep Hughes they must expose him to waivers first, so they could lose him to another club.

Gardenhire said it was a difficult decision to cut Hughes, but the team couldn’t afford to demote a pitcher right now. Fellow reserve Trevor Plouffe had an advantage over Hughes because Plouffe can play both the outfield and infield.

“Tough situation. We had to go one way or another and we decided to go this way and see what happens,” Gardenhire said.

Also working against Hughes was the fact that Minnesota decided neither right-hander Nick Blackburn nor lefty Glen Perkins needed to go on the disabled list.

Blackburn left his most recent start with a stiff shoulder, but an MRI showed no damage. He played catch Wednesday and said he felt good. He is scheduled to start Tuesday night against Boston.

Perkins (nerve irritation) was cleared by team doctors to throw a bullpen session in Minneapolis and the reliever was headed to New York on Wednesday night to rejoin the team.