(Courtesy of US Presswire)
With a little help from the rest of the scuffling division, the Yankees carried their 4-game, 6-day winning streak to the top of the AL East after CC's gem on Friday night. They came into yesterday's afternoon game looking to take sole possession of that division lead and keep the winning streak going, with Phil Hughes
taking the bump to try to get it done. Like Ivan Nova
, Hughes struggled in his first start of the season, and with a lot to prove this year he can't afford to have too many duds. After yesterday's performance, he REALLY can't afford to have another dud because he was just awful.
- Hughes was in trouble right off the bat in the top of the 1st, giving up a leadoff double and allowing it to come around to score after a couple of walks.
- That trouble continued in the 2nd when he gave up a solo HR to Ryan Flaherty
to make it 2-0 O's, and the damage was only limited by a nice relay throw to nail a runner at the plate for the final out.
- The offense tried to help Hughes out in the bottom of the 2nd, when Travis Hafner
led off with his third homer of the year and Francisco Cervelli
came home to score on a 2-out Lyle Overbay
single to tie the game at 2.
- But Hughes gave it right back in the 3rd, giving up a leadoff HR to Nick Markakis
and another run on 2 more hits. Hughes wasn't locating his fastball well on the outside, and the O's were squaring him up every way imaginable.
- Another leadoff HR in the 4th and a follow-up double ended Hughes' day after just 3+ innings. David Phelps
came on in relief and did an excellent job keeping the Yankees close, but Hughes' poor outing left them in a hole they were unable to climb out of.
- Vernon Wells
hit a solo HR of his own, his third of the young season, to make the game interesting, but the Yanks left 2 on base in the bottom of the 8th to end the final real threat.