April 22, 2010

No no-no for Hughes, Yankees win sixth straight

Phil Hughes was six outs away from a no-hitter until Eric Chavez smoked the first pitch of the eighth off Hughes’ glove. The ball bounced right in front of the mound, but Hughes looked up in the air for the ball before eventually picking it up after Chavez;s foot touched first base.

Hughes retired 20 straight hitters and struck out a career-high 10 in the Yankees’ 3-1 victory over the Athletics. It was the team’s sixth straight win and clinched their fifth straight series win.

Quick ‘Cap:
Hughes struck out five of the first seven batters he faced, using fastballs, cutters and curves to blank Oakland’s offense. In the fourth, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano hit back-to-back triples followed by an RBI groundout from Jorge Posada.

The lone Oakland run was charged to Hughes after he exited with one out in the eighth. Jake Fox’s two-out single off Joba Chamblerain broke the shutout. Brett Gardner got the insurance run back for the Yankees in the top of the ninth, scoring Curtis Granderson. Mariano Rivera recorded his sixth save of the season.

Every starter in Oakland’s lineup struck out except for three-hitter Ryan Sweeney. Hughes’ only walk came in the first inning. It was his longest no-hit bid since 2007 when he went 6 1-3 innings before leaving the game with a leg injury. Full box score here.

Is the Joba-Hughes debate finally over? No-hit bids tend to end discussions like that. Anyone who watched tonight’s game can appreciate how much potential Hughes has as a starter. The scary thing is, he hasn’t even incorporated his changeup into his repertoire yet.

Line of the Night:
Hughes: W (2-0), 7 1-3 IP, H, ER, BB, 10 K. An outstanding performance. CC Sabathia went 7 2-3 no-hit innings two weeks ago, but still, a very impressive outing for the 23-year-old.

Up Next:
The Yankees look for their second straight sweep in an afternoon game on Thursday.

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