By DAVE CAMPBELL
MINNEAPOLIS — Phil Hughes has been pitching with a cracked nail on his right index finger, a common side effect of the sharp curveball he throws. He’s kept the nail intact with super glue.
The big righty has done a nice job of holding the Minnesota Twins’ rotation together, too.
Kennys Vargas homered and sparked rallies with two other hits, leading Hughes and the Twins past Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians 4-1 Thursday.
Hughes (14-8) struck out eight over seven innings to forge a 4-way tie for the American League lead in victories, with Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer and Scott Kazmir, and improved to 4-0 with a 1.32 ERA in four August starts.
Zach Walters, who has four home runs and six RBIs in nine games since joining the Indians, took Hughes deep in the fifth to tie the game. But Trevor Plouffe put the Twins back in front with a 2-run double in the sixth inning after Vargas hit a one-out double.
Vargas singled in the eighth, and pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez scored on a double by Oswaldo Arcia. Then Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save in 36 attempts for the Twins, denying the Indians their first sweep of a road series this season.