New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes left Game 3 on Tuesday night in the fourth inning with a herniated lumbar disc, according to TBS' Craig Sager. Hughes was removed after allowing a home run to Delmon Young and a walk to Andy Dirks, and was replaced by reliever David Phelps.
Hughes had not allowed a run through three innings, but Young led off the fourth with a homer, and after Hughes issued the walk to Dirks, it became clear that something was wrong. The injury will force the Yankees to dip into their bullpen early in what is close to a must-win game.
New York is also tasked with facing Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who has allowed only one hit through four innings while striking out two. Phelps appeared in Game 1 of the ALCS, allowing three hits and two earned runs in the 12th inning. Phelps was tagged with the loss.
UPDATE: The official word on Phil Hughes is that he left with a stiff back.
Phil Hughes left tonight's Game 3 start with a stiff back.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 17, 2012