Twins vs. Indians preview

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes works against the Texas Rangers during the first inning Sunday, June 14, 2015, in Arlington, Texas.

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes works against the Texas Rangers during the first inning Sunday, June 14, 2015, in Arlington, Texas.

With the Minnesota Twins in the heart of a pennant race, Trevor Plouffe figures to be back in the lineup Monday night.

He and the Twins face a tough assignment against Corey Kluber, although Phil Hughes outpitched the Cleveland Indians ace last week.

Hughes will try to reverse his poor history at Progressive Field when these right-handers meet again in the opener of a four-game series.

More from FoxSports

Minnesota (80-75) trails Houston by 1 1/2 games for the AL's second wild card, while Cleveland (77-77) is four games back.

Plouffe, who leads the Twins with 82 RBI, sat out Sunday's 7-1 victory at Detroit due to illness. The slugger, hitless in his last 11 at-bats as one of numerous Twins suffering from a bug, labored through an 0-for-4 effort in Saturday's 6-2 win.

"Last night, it was a little tough on him physically," manager Paul Molitor told MLB's official website. "I don't really want to take him out, but I think it's the right thing."

Plouffe entered the season with a .360 average in 25 at-bats versus Kluber (8-15, 3.55 ERA) but has gone 2 for 11 in that matchup this year. He singled and doubled against the Indians ace last Wednesday as Kluber lasted a season-low 3 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs in a 4-2 loss.

The right-hander had gone 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his first three 2015 starts versus the Twins before he missed 19 days with a hamstring injury. In two post-injury starts, he's allowed seven runs in 7 2/3 innings.

"I'm healthy enough to go out there and take the ball," Kluber said. "I don't think that's an excuse to make."

Torii Hunter is a .136 hitter against Kluber and Brian Dozier is at .133.

Hughes (11-9, 4.43) won for the first time in three starts since returning from some back issues when he limited the Indians to four hits in five scoreless innings opposite Kluber. The Twins starter posted a 12.38 ERA over his three previous outings.

"I wasn't in a position where I was feeling great about myself," Hughes said. "Having this outing was a step in the right direction."

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 6.43 ERA in four starts versus the Indians this year. His 6.39 career ERA at Cleveland is his second-worst in an AL city to his 7.36 in Anaheim.

Carlos Santana has faced Hughes the most among Indians hitters, going 3 for 21 -- including 2 for 9 this year. Jason Kipnis is 4 for 10 in this matchup in 2015.

Molitor plans to rest Kurt Suzuki, who is 0 for 10 against Kluber and has caught the last seven games. Chris Herrmann is expected to start behind the plate.

Three Minnesota rookies posted notable firsts Sunday. Byron Buxton hit his first homer, Miguel Sano his first triple and Max Kepler struck out as a pinch-hitter in his big-league debut.

The Indians, who have won 15 of their last 20 at home, capped a 3-3 trip with Sunday's 3-0 loss to Kansas City.

Michael Brantley returned Sunday after missing four games with a shoulder injury. He is hitting .375 against Minnesota this year.