NEW YORK – If Phil Hughes was pitching to save his spot in the New York Yankees’ rotation, then his latest outing probably helped him. If he was trying to salvage the team’s shaky homestand, then he fell short.
Derek Holland outdueled Hughes, tossing a two-hitter and leading the Texas Rangers to a 2-0 win Thursday.
With Ivan Nova looking for a starting role and Michael Pineda rehabbing in the minors, Hughes’ job could well be in jeopardy. Manager Joe Girardi didn’t go that far in assessing the future before the game, and liked what he saw.
“We know he’s capable of doing it. We’ve seen it before,” Girardi said. “Hughsie wants to pitch. He wants the ball every fifth day, and he went out and got it done today.”
Hughes (3-7) allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking one. He’d gotten seven days’ rest since the Los Angeles Dodgers tagged him, and was pushed back to accommodate other pitchers.
Hughes fell to 1-5 with a 5.19 ERA in his last eight starts — only once have the Yankees scored more than two runs in those games.
Not that Hughes, a former All-Star who turned 27 this week, was complaining.
“Trust me. I’ve had plenty of runs scored in the past,” he said. “Sometimes you’re going to go through stretches when it’s not there. And we, as pitchers, have to do a better job keeping us in the game.”
ANGELS 3, TIGERS 1: Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking double in the 10th inning and Los Angeles won at Detroit, their ninth straight victory over the Tigers.
Mike Trout had four hits and was in the middle of the decisive rally for the Angels, who completed a three-game sweep.
TWINS 3, ROYALS 1: Samuel Deduno pitched seven sharp innings and one of Justin Morneau’s two doubles drove in host Minnesota’s first run, sending the Twins to a home victory over Kansas City.
Deduno (4-2) gave up only five hits and, more importantly, one walk. He struck out three and let only eight fair balls leave the infield.
ORIOLES 7, INDIANS 3: Chris Davis drove in the tiebreaking run on a fielder’s choice-grounder in a wild five-run fifth inning, and host Baltimore rallied past Cleveland.
CUBS 7, BREWERS 2: Matt Garza struck out 10 in seven solid innings and Dioner Navarro hit a three-run homer, sending Chicago to a victory at Milwaukee.
Garza (3-1) had his third consecutive strong outing. The right-hander allowed one run on eight hits and a walk while throwing 101 pitches.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, NATIONALS 2: Didi Gregorius drove in the go-ahead run with a bunt single in the 11th inning and Aaron Hill homered as Arizona won at Washington to salvage the finale of a three-game series.
Heath Bell picked up his 14th save.
METS 3, ROCKIES 2: Marlon Byrd hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and threw out a runner from right field in the ninth to lead New York past host Colorado in a makeup game for the one that was snowed out April 17.