Twins set rotation for first 3 of weekend set

Molitor still deciding starter for Sunday's finale vs. Angels

Twins set rotation for first 3 of weekend set

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced their rotation for the first three games of their four-game series against the Angels this weekend, but are still deciding who will start on Sunday.

Left-hander Tommy Milone will start in the series opener on Thursday and will be followed by right-handers Mike Pelfrey and Kyle Gibson. Twins manager Paul Molitor said Sunday's starter will either be right-hander Phil Hughes or rookie Tyler Duffey, who started on Monday, giving up one run over 6 1/3 innings. But the Twins are trying to limit Duffey's innings down the stretch, as he's thrown a combined 176 2/3 innings this year after throwing 149 1/3 innings last year.

"I spent a lot of time yesterday and today with [pitching coach Neil] Allen about that schedule going forward," Molitor said. "Sunday is a little bit in flux. And then after the off-day on Monday, we'll plan forward."

Molitor added that lining up the rotation for the American League Wild Card is a consideration moving forward, but isn't his primary focus just yet. The Twins are 1 1/2 games back of the Astros for the second AL Wild Card spot. Kyle Gibson is the favorite to get that start if the Twins are a Wild Card team, as he's tentatively lined up to make that start on Oct. 6.

"I think about it but I don't prioritize it yet," Molitor said. "In a perfect world everything would line up and you wouldn't have to make too many changes to get there. I don't not want to win every game we're playing right now, so I don't want to shuffle it up too much. I'm just trying to get guys to give us the best chance and we'll see how it falls."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.