May 20, 2009

Hughes & Cano star in eighth straight win for Yanks

In what might have been the last start for Phil Hughes (for the time being), the Yankees (23-17) slugged their way past the Orioles (16-24) to an 11-4 victory.  Hughes struck out nine in just five innings, and Robinson Cano was the only Yankee with three hits and had a game-high three runs batted in.

Quick ‘Cap: 
Mark Teixeira hit an RBI-double in the first inning; the first of five unanswered against the Orioles.  In the second frame, Nick Swisher, Cano and Melky Cabrera went back-to-back-to-back to give the Yanks a 4-0 lead. (John Sterling had to recite a handful of calls for that series of events.)  Cano made it 5-0 with an RBI-single in the third.

The Orioles pecked away at the deficit with a two-run shot from Ty Wiggington in the fourth, and a solo shot from Adam Jones in the fifth.  Hughes would exit the game after the fifth, despite striking out the side in his last inning.

With the Orioles threatening in the eighth, Joe Girardi put in closer Mariano Rivera, but the Yankees posted a long six-run rally in the eighth to remove any anxiety from Yankee fans.  Girardi still kept Rivera in for the ninth.  He allowed a home run, but also earned his eighth save.  Full box score here.

If you are a Yankees fan, you should definitely be excited, but not too excited.  They are on an eight-game winning streak, but six of those wins are against some of the weakest teams in the AL.  I want to see this streak last through the weekend (against the Phillies).  Then, I will be excited.

Noteworthy Performances: 
- Cano was 3-for-4 with three RBI, and he lifted his batting average back over .300 (.307). 
- Alfredo Aceves provided two huge innings of middle relief, and has gone relatively unnoticed in his short stint with the Yanks this season.  His hold was a big factor in the win.

Up Next: 
The Yanks look to sweep the Orioles Thursday night, and they will send out Joba Chamberlain (2-1, 3.76).  He will face a struggling Adam Eaton (2-4, 7.93).

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