Results tagged ‘ Phil Hughes ’
The Yankees’ disabled list continued to grow Friday night, adding Andy Pettitte, who came out of Thursday night’s game against the Mariners because of a tight left trapezius muscle. Pettitte said he felt better Friday but understood that he needed more time to get better, which frankly the Yankees do not have right now.
Pettitte’s next scheduled start would have been Tuesday night in Baltimore. He told general manager Brian Cashman that he could long-toss on his regular bullpen day and still be able to make the starting assignment. Pettitte reneged when it was explained to him that the Yankees could not afford to dig into the bullpen if he tightened up early in that game. Cashman pointed out that they lost CC Sabathia early in a rain-delayed game in Denver, had a doubleheader at Cleveland earlier in the week and an abbreviated start Wednesday night from Phil Hughes (2/3 innings).
“I’m frustrated, but it makes sense,” Pettitte said. “I hope we can get it cleared up and I can get back out there. I don’t see why it should be more than that [15 days]. I had high expectations of being able to pitch a full season, but I’ll have to deal with it.”
The Yankees will recall lefthander Vidal Nuno from Triple A Scranton to take Pettitte’s spot in the rotation. Nuno earned his first major-league victory in the second game of the doubleheader Monday with five scoreless, three-hit innings at Progressive Field.
Chris Stewart’s groin injury is not as serious as it might have been. An MRI on the catcher was negative. Stewart is still in some pain, but he is not a candidate for the Yankees’ large disabled list where another catcher, Francisco Cervelli, is among those on the mend. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Stewart probably won’t play in the three-game series against the Blue Jays but could catch in an emergency.
Because of that, the Yankees do not plan to add another catcher for this weekend’s series as a backup to Austin Romine. That role for the time being will be filled by utility infielder Alberto Gonzalez, whose primary position is shortstop but who has also already pitched for the Yankees for the first time in his seven-season career. Gonzalez retired the only batter he faced Wednesday night in the Yankees’ 12-2 loss to the Mariners, so his ERA is 0.00.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tuesday marked only the fourth time since the Cy Young Award was instituted by the Baseball Writers’ Association in 1956 that seven former winners started on the same day. CC Sabathia was among them, along with Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, R.A. Dickey, Bartolo Colon, Jake Peavy and Barry Zito). It also occurred April 21, 1974 (Vida Blue, Steve Carlton, Mike Cuellar, Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Jim Perry and Tom Seaver) and on both April 5 and April 10, 1993 with the same pitchers (Roger Clemens, Doug Drabek, Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser, Greg Maddux, Rick Sutcliffe and Bob Welch).
Patrick Vieira, former World Cup-winning soccer star and current head of the Elite Development Squad for Manchester City Football Club, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Vieira played on five World Cup-winning teams and nine league champions during his career. He made 107 appearances for the French national team, including winning performances at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 UEFA European Championship. His time as a Manchester City player, which began in January 2010, concluded with an FA Cup Final victory in May 2011, marking the club’s first major trophy in 35 years.
Since retiring from the game in the summer of 2011, Vieira has worked as a Football Development Executive for Manchester City, traveling extensively in an ambassadorial role for the club and its academy. He has spent the last year developing his understanding of the business side of football and working on his UEFA coaching credentials.
Manchester City will make it first appearance at the Stadium in a 5:30 p.m. match Saturday, May 25, against Premier League rival Chelsea FC.
The Yankees were probably due for one of these games, but it always painful to watch when it happens. The offensively-challenged Mariners bolted out of the game with seven runs in the first inning and kept adding to their light-hitting totals on the way to a 12-2 victory Wednesday night behind the solid pitching of the latest Japanese sensation, Hisashi Iwakuma.
Leading the way was none other than Raul Ibanez, who has been a terror against his 2012 team. Showing that he has lost none of his power stroke at Yankee Stadium, Ibanez belted two home runs, one a grand slam, and knocked in six runs. That gives him three home runs and eight RBI in the past two games. What does he think this is, the American League Division Series or the AL Championship Series?
The Yankees have had 11 come-from-behind victories, but this proved too uphill a climb for them. Iwakuma gave up solo home runs to Vernon Wells and Chris Stewart and little else in his seven innings as he improved to 5-1 with a 1.84 ERA. Iwakuma, 32, is proving that his 9-5, 3.16-ERA record in 2012 for Seattle was no fluke. He and Felix Hernandez have been a dangerous 1-2 pitching combination, although they rarely get this kind of run support.
Phil Hughes suffered his poorest outing of the season and one of the worst of his career in giving up seven runs, six hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning, which shot his ERA up from 4.43 to 5.88. It was only the second time a Yankees starter failed to complete the first inning in the current Stadium. It also happened May 21, 2009 with Joba Chamberlain against the Orioles (2/3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs).
“Phil was up in the zone,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You can pitch up in the zone, but he got too many balls in the middle of the plate.”
“I didn’t have much of a fastball, so I tried changeups and sliders,” Hughes said. “I kept trying to find something. I’m going to have trouble sleeping the next four nights. You have to put the team in a situation like this where eventually some guys are playing out of position. The last thing you want is for someone to get hurt.”
Girardi did resort to some musical chairs in the blowout. Stewart moved from behind the plate to play first base. In the ninth when poor Brett Marshall in his major-league debut was wiped out by throwing 108 pitches, Girardi had shortstop Alberto Gonzalez get the last out.
“I didn’t want to use another reliever and asked Alberto about it before the inning,” Girardi said. “I picked him because shortstops usually have the most accurate arms.”
In the same move, Wells, who had been the designated hitter, played second base. Last week, the career outfielder played an inning at third base.
There were not too many bright sides for the Yankees, but there were some. Preston Claiborne added to his scoreless stretch of pitching with 2 1/3 innings of one-hit, two-strikeout relief and has now been unscored upon in five appearances and seven innings. Triple A Scranton call-up David Adams made his major-league debut on his 26th birthday and had a single in four at-bats and handled five chances in the field without incident.
Lyle Overbay had two more hits, a double and a single, to continue his terrific job at replacing Mark Teixeira at first base. Over the Yankees’ first 40 games, Overbay is batting .266 with 10 doubles, one triple, six home runs and 24 RBI. Through 40 games a year ago, Teixeira hit .229 with nine doubles, five homers and 22 RBI.
The only good thing the Yankees could say about the top of the first inning Wednesday night is that they still had 27 outs to try and get back into the game. Man, was that one ugly frame.
Many folks were still walking to the seats while the Mariners were running all around the bases on the way to a 7-0 lead that they gave to starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, the former Japanese Olympics and Pacific League star who has gotten off to a great start here in the U.S. (4-1, 1.74 ERA).
Yankees starter Phil Hughes could not get into a rhythm and was gone before the lengthy inning was over. Seven consecutive Seattle batters reached base at one point, four of whom scored on one swing, a familiar swing at that, by Raul Ibanez, who crushed a 0-1 fastball to right-center for his fifth home run of the season and second in this series. In his first five at-bats in his return to Yankee Stadium since last October’s postseason heroics, Ibanez has wounded his former team with two home runs and six RBI.
Hughes had no command of his breaking pitches and was forced to rely on his fastball, which the Seattle hitters knew was coming since nothing else was working for the righthander. A one-out walk to Dustin Ackley got the rally started and was followed by three singles that produced two runs and another walk before Ibanez lowered the boom.
Home runs tend to be rally killers, but not this time. Former Yankees prospect Jesus Montero joined Ibanez in haunting the Yankees with a single. After a fielder’s choice, Michael Saunders chased Hughes with a run-scoring double. Fans were none too kind to Hughes, whose ERA rose to 5.88, as he walked to the dugout. The fans’ attitude improved when reliever Preston Claiborne ended the inning with a strikeout.
This was a stunning development considering that the Mariners rank next to last in the American League in team batting average and runs scored. Seven runs are often the most they can score in a whole series let alone one inning.
It was also a wild start in a major-league debut of David Adams, the starting third baseman who was called up by the Yankees from Scranton. Chris Nelson was optioned to the Triple A affiliate to make room on the 25-man roster for Adams, who turned 26 Wednesday. That’s some birthday present.
The Yankees scored more runs in the second inning Friday night at Kansas City than they scored in each of the three games of the recent series at Coors Field. The Denver yard is supposed to be hitter-friendly, yet the Yanks were shut out in one game and scored three runs in each of the next two games. In the second inning at Kauffman Stadium, supposedly a pitcher-friendly facility, the Yankees exploded for four runs off Wade Davis on a pair of two-run home runs by Ichiro Suzuki and Lyle Overbay. Go figure.
This was the sort of game expected in Denver. The Yankees broke out for 16 hits, half of them for extra bases, to produce an 11-6 victory, Joe Girardi’s 500th as Yankees manager.
The Royals closed to 4-3 in the bottom of the second as Phil Hughes fell victim to the long ball, which he had avoided in his previous three starts. It came from an unexpected source, too. Jayson Dyson ended Hughes’ 23-inning homerless stretch and a two-year homerless streak of his own with a two-out, three-run blow that was the outfielder’s first home run since 2010 and only his second in 473 career at-bats.
Hughes, who was 1-0 with three no-decisions and 1.93 ERA over his past four starts, was not as effective this time out. A two-run double by Alex Gordon in the fifth inning tied the score at 5, but the Yankees came to Phil’s rescue by putting up a five-spot in the sixth. They chased Davis with a double by Suzuki and a single by Jayson Nix and then did their usual damage against Bruce Chen.
The lefthander has found a home with the Royals, his 10th club, the past few years, but wherever he has been the Yankee have given him trouble. He has a 2-6 career record against them and had his ERA climb to 6.87 in 77 1/3 innings against the Yankees after they had their way with him in this game as well.
Overbay, who had quite a night (4-for-5, five RBI), knocked in his fourth run of the game with his second double. Chris Nelson got his first two RBI since joining the Yankees with a single. He scored on a triple by Brett Gardner, who came home on a single by Robinson Cano as the Yanks went 4-for-4 with runners in scoring position in the inning.
Hughes was toast one batter after yielding a long solo homer to right by Mike Moustakas in the bottom of the sixth. The bullpen was a bit thin after five relievers worked in Thursday’s rain-delayed victory. Shawn Kelley was nothing short of brilliant by striking out the first five batters he faced and six of seven. Boone Logan added two more strikeouts in a perfect ninth. Nine of the Royals’ last 11 hitters struck out.
Ichiro had 3-for-5 to raise his career batting average at Kauffman Stadium to .377, the highest of any opposing player in the park’s 40-year history. This place may not be so pitcher friendly after all.
Through five innings Saturday, Phil Hughes had thrown 86 pitches. I thought here’s another situation in which the righthander cannot moderate his pitch count and that Yankees manager Joe Girardi would have to get his bullpen in gear early.
But lo and behold, Hughes got more efficient with his pitches and came up with three straight 1-2-3 innings to be in good position to get his first winning decision of the season. Phil certainly earned it with eight shutout innings in which he allowed four hits and two walks with a season-high nine strikeouts.
Things got a bit hairy in the ninth when Shawn Kelley gave up a leadoff single, and Girardi did not hesitate to call on Mariano Rivera in a non-save situation. Mo gave up a walk and a hit with a couple of runs scoring, but the 4-2 Yankees final gave Hughes that long-awaited first victory of the season.
“I knew my pitch count was pretty high the first five innings,” Hughes said. “It all starts with the fastball. I got more aggressive with it on both sides of the plate and then I could mix in off-speed stuff.”
Hughes’ 117-pitch effort included an unusually high number of strikes – 82 – and marked his fourth consecutive outing of six or more innings in which he allowed two or fewer runs. He has held opponents to a .223 batting average in that stretch. Over those starts, Hughes had brought his ERA down from 10.29 to 3.60. “I feel like I’m clicking now,” he said.
For the second straight outing at Yankee Stadium, Hughes kept the ball in the yard, something he had not done before his previous start since last August. The long ball will always be a nemesis for Hughes, a fly-ball pitcher (10 of his 24 outs Saturday were in the air), but it is worth noting that all five homers he has allowed this year have come with the bases empty.
Ichiro Suzuki saved Hughes from yielding a home run to the first batter of the game, catcher John Jaso, with a fence-climbing catch in right field. A couple of other drives reached the warning track but stayed out of the stands.
“The consistency of his pitches every inning” was Girardi’s explanation for the turnaround in Hughes since his first two poor starts to open the season. “He mixed in all his stuff the second and third time through the order.”
Hughes’ offensive support came mainly from the bottom of the order – home runs from 9-hole hitter Chris Stewart in the third and 7-hole hitter Lyle Overbay in the fifth off Athletics starter Bartolo Colon and a triple by 8-hole hitter Eduardo Nunez, who scored on a two-out single by Brett Gardner in the seventh. The other run came from cleanup hitter Travis Hafner with a single in the sixth that scored Robinson Cano, who had doubled to lead off the inning against Colon.
That double was career No. 344 for Cano, who broke a tie with Hall of Famers Bill Dickey and Mickey Mantle to take over eighth place on the franchise’s all-time list.
Colon, who was 8-10 for the Yankees in 2011, lost for the first time in four decisions this year despite another good outing (three runs, six hits, no walks, three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings). A control freak of a power pitcher, Colon has tossed 37 1/3 innings in 2013 and walked one batter.
The Yankees are 28-9 in games immediately following shutout losses since the start of the 2008 season (all under Girardi) with victories in both cases this year and 11 of the past 13. . .Hughes, with a 1.93 ERA and 30 strikeouts over his past four starts covering 28 innings, became the first right-handed starter for the Yankees to pitch at least eight shutout innings and strike out at least nine batters in a game since Mike Mussina Sept. 14, 2004 at Kansas City and the first to do so at the Stadium since Roger Clemens June 18, 2003 against the Rays. . .Hafner has at least one RBI in nine of the Yankees’ 10 series this season. . .Stewart entered 2013 with four homers in 351 career at-bats. He has two in 40 at-bats this season. . .Rivera’s 1,064th career appearance tied him with Dan Plesac for sixth place on the all-time games list. . .The Yankees are 17-2 when holding opponents to four or fewer runs and 16-3 when scoring four or more runs.
Okay, it is time now to forget all this stuff about how the American League East is not just about everybody chasing the Yankees and the Red Sox. After a lot of talk in pre-season publications that the division will have a different look and that the traditional rivals aren’t the teams they used to be, well, take a lot at the standings. The reconstituted Red Sox are in first place, and the pieced-together Yankees are right behind them.
The Blue Jays? The team that brought to Toronto all that star power from the Marlins trade plus the acquisition of last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner (R.A. Dickey) and the signing of last year’s NL batting champion, Melky Cabrera (I don’t care what Bud Selig says; Cabrera had the highest batting average in the NL in 2012), is at the bottom of the AL East with the third worst record in the major leagues.
The Yankees kept Toronto in its place with their first four-game sweep of the Jays at Yankee Stadium since Sept. 18-21, 1995, which was the rookie season of Mariano Rivera, who made it 9-for-9 in saves this year by wrapping up Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Dickey. That makes it both of last year’s Cy Young Award winners that the Yankees beat in a week’s time. They defeated the Rays’ David Price, the 2012 American League winner, five days earlier at St. Petersburg, Fla.
All those warning signals that went up when the Yankees started 1-4 out of the gate seem silly now that they won 14 of their past 19 games with contributions coming from just about everyone on the roster, particularly from some guys other clubs couldn’t wait to rid themselves of.
Take Sunday, for example. The Yankees had only four hits, but two of them were home runs off Dickey by Brennan Boesch and Lyle Overbay. During spring training, the Yanks signed Boesch after he was released by the Tigers and Overbay after he was released by the Red Sox. The Angels were willing to eat more than half of what was left of the sizeable contract of Vernon Wells, who has batted .379 with three homers and six RBI in seven games against Toronto this year, six of them Yankees victories.
Overbay entered the game with a 1-for-14 (.071) career mark against Dickey but ended up going 2-for-3. His third homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh with two out, turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead that was held up by the relief work of Boone Logan, David Robertson and the great Rivera. The long ball has haunted Dickey (2-4, 4.54 ERA), who has yielded five home runs in 36 innings.
The Yankees came from behind in all four games of the series and won two games by one run apiece and the other two by two runs each. They are 9-1 in games decided by two runs or less, 4-0 in one-run games and 14-1 when holding opponents to four runs or less.
Phil Hughes remains winless this season despite a good, six-inning outing in which he gave up seven hits and a walk (intentional) with nine strikeouts. One of the two runs he allowed was the result of three soft, two-out singles in the fourth. Hughes was once again plagued by an elevated pitch count (111), but for the first time since Aug. 7 last year he did not give up a home run in a start at Yankee Stadium. He had allowed a total of 10 homers over his previous six starts at the Stadium.
Rivera now has the highest saves total in one month for his career and has converted 32 saves in a row at the Stadium since the start of the 2011 season. Overall, the bullpen has been sensational. Over the past six games, the relief corps has held opponents to three earned runs, three walks and 11 hits in 17 innings with 24 strikeouts and a 1.59 ERA.
And, remember, the Yankees are doing all of this with five regulars out of the lineup. Francisco Cervelli last week joined Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira on the disabled list, and Kevin Youkilis with an ailing back may not be far behind. This should have been the time that the Yankees were the most vulnerable, but they have stayed near the top of the division standings while the Blue Jays have stumbled to the bottom.
The tightness in the scores of this series indicated that Toronto was not exactly blown away by the Yankees, but the losses continue to mount with a 9-17 record looking fearfully like a team pretty much buried before the first month of the season is completed. The Jays can moan all they want about the loss of All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, but the Yankees have shown that injuries to key players do not have to be crippling.
One of the aspects of all the injuries that have beset the Yankees in the early going this year has been vulnerability against left-handed pitching. Losing Kevin Youkilis recently to back stiffness didn’t help a batting order already minus such lefty killers as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
That situation is why Tuesday night’s 4-3 victory over the Rays was so uplifting for the Yanks. They hung another loss on David Price, the defending American League Cy Young Award winner who four starts into the season is still winless (0-2). Price pitched well enough to win, actually, but the Yankees stayed close enough in the game to strike in the ninth inning against right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney.
The two-run single by Ichiro Suzuki that unlocked a 2-2 score was good to see as well. The right fielder entered the game with a .200 batting average and .250 on-base percentage, both substandard for the one-time hit king. After Rodney loaded the bases with an intentional walk to pinch hitter Travis Hafner and an unintentional walk to Lyle Overbay, who had a terrific at-bat, a sensational play by first baseman James Loney on a foul by Chris Stewart nearly bailed out the reliever.
Ichiro wasted no time and leaned into a first-pitch fastball from Rodney into center field. That second run proved vital when Mariano Rivera gave up a leadoff home run to Evan Longoria in the bottom of the ninth before getting the next three batters for his sixth save. The victory went to David Robertson, who tossed a perfect eighth, in taking over for Phil Hughes, who pitched soundly over the first seven innings.
A key element in the Yanks’ ninth-inning rally was a stolen base by Robinson Cano, who had another strong game (2-for-4, one run scored). The Yankees used their speed well. Eduardo Nunez scored their first run back in the fourth inning after reaching first base on a third-strike wild pitch by Price.
The Yankees improved their record in games started by lefthanders to 4-3 (compared to 7-5 against right-handed starters), but the breakdown indicates southpaws pose problems to them. Even with eight hits against Price Tuesday night one game after they managed only two hits off lefthander Matt Moore, the Yankees are batting .199 with a .294 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching. Against righthanders, the Yankees are hitting .301 with a .536 slugging percentage.
More games like the one Ichiro had Tuesday night (2-for-4, two RBI) would help the Yankees combat the lefty jinx. His other hit was a one-out single in the sixth, after which he scooted to third on a hit-and-run single to left by Jayson Nix and scored on a grounder to the right side by Brett Gardner.
Phil Hughes is still looking for his first victory of the season, but if he continues to pitch the way he did Tuesday night he will pile up a bunch of triumphs before the year is out. The righthander got into an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel with the Rays’ David Price, last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner, and departed after seven innings with the score 2-2.
Hughes got off to a rocky start by giving up a walk, a double and a sacrifice fly to the first three hitters, but he settled in nicely for his best start of the year. He showed off a muscular fastball and an effective changeup and held the Rays to five singles through the seventh. Hughes struck out six batters and walked only two, although both of the runners scored.
Another positive sign was that Hughes kept the ball in the yard. After giving up five home runs in his previous two starts, Hughes did not allow a long ball Tuesday night. There were a couple of loud fouls at Tropicana Field but nothing over the fence fair, which was important because Price wasn’t giving up much of anything to the Yankees, either, although they put a lot more runners on base than Monday night against Matt Moore, who allowed two hits, both to Robinson Cano, in eight innings.
Phil Hughes departed Thursday night’s game on the losing side of the ledger, but it was nonetheless an encouraging outing for him. After two dismal starts, Hughes pitched with determination and gave the Yankees seven strong innings in which he allowed six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six.
Unfortunately for Hughes, Diamondbacks lefthander Patrick Corbin was a little mite better. His string of 16 scoreless innings, the longest in the major leagues, came to an end when Robinson Cano homered off a 0-and-1 pitch in the sixth inning to cut the Yankees’ deficit to 2-1.
Both of the runs off Hughes were the result of home runs as well, not surprisingly. He gave up dingers to Didi Gregorius in the third and Martin Prado in the sixth. That makes five home runs Hughes has yielded in 10-plus innings at Yankee Stadium this year. Hughes’ predilection for fly balls hurt him at the homer-friendly Stadium, but on the positive side is that all five taters have come with the bases empty.
Phil had a good fastball this time out as it was consistently in the 91-to 93-miles-per-hour range and a sharp-breaking slider, a pitch that seemed to have abandoned him in his previous starts. He did not deserve a losing decision, and as it turned out he didn’t get one.
The Yankees threatened to get Hughes off the hook in the eighth, but a rough call against Cano foiled a rally. Batting with the bases full and one out against righthander David Hernandez, the losing pitcher Wednesday night, Cano was struck in the right leg with a 3-2 pitch. Plate umpire Ron Kulpa ruled that Cano swung through the pitch before it hit him for a strikeout. Henderson then struck out Kevin Youkilis.
But true to history, the Diamondbacks have trouble getting the final out in games at the Stadium. One out into the ninth, Francisco Cervelli homered to left off J.J. Putz to tie the score. That was an impressive blow by Cervelli considering that he committed an error in the top of the inning on an interference call when Gregorius hit him in the mitt on his left hand with a swing of the bat.
An old problem beset Phil Hughes Saturday – trying to keep balls from going over the fence at Yankee Stadium. The good news is that when Hughes gave up a home run there was no one on base. The bad news is that he gave up three home runs.
This is nothing new with Hughes. Last year, he surrendered 22 long balls at the Stadium, the most at home for any pitcher in the majors and the most in franchise history. Ryan Flaherty, Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold did the damage against Hughes Saturday in a 5-3 Orioles victory that ended the Yankees’ four-game winning streak and brought them back to .500 at 5-5.
“Phil is not a sinkerballer; he is going to give up home runs,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Unfortunately, Hughes’ home yard is of the home-run friendly variety, which can make life hard for a fly-ball pitcher. Hughes lasted only two batters into the fourth inning and gave up five runs, nine hits and two walks without a strikeout. He lacked command of his fastball. Rescue attempts using curves, changeups and sliders could not bail out Hughes, who is off to a rough start after a spring training in which he lost time to a back ailment.
“I’m 100 percent healthy now,” Hughes said, not using the back as an excuse. “I have to figure a way to get some outs.”
Outs have come in short supply for Hughes, who is 0-2 with a 10.29 ERA. He has been hit hard, having allowed nine runs (eight earned) and 17 hits in seven innings. Opponents are batting .472 in 36 at-bats against the righthander.
Despite Hughes’ shaky start, the Yankees remained in position to come back in the game. This was due largely to the terrific relief work of David Phelps. The righthander from Notre Dame pitched four scoreless, one-hit innings with six strikeouts. “My curve was better than it has been all year,” he said.
The Yankees continued to slug as in days of old with Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells each taking Orioles starter Jason Hammel deep. Wells also made an outstanding defensive play in left-center in the seventh inning by throwing out Adam Jones trying to stretch a single into a double, the lone hit off Phelps.
With 11 hits, the Yankees did not lack for offense. Few hits were timely, however. The Yanks were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Then again, the Orioles were even worse in that department (0-for-10). The Yankees stranded nine base runners, including those in scoring position in the third, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Kevin Youkilis took his first collar (0-for-5), which ended his nine-game hitting streak, the longest at the start of the season for a player in his first year with the Yankees in 68 years.
Robinson Cano, who had two hits, even put in an inning of work at shortstop, the first time he had played somewhere other than second base in his major-league career. With Eduardo Nunez out with a bruised right wrist, Girardi needed another shortstop when he lifted Jayson Nix for pinch hitter Brennan Boesch in the eighth.
Cano moved to short from second with Francisco Cervelli, who has been taking grounders in the infield during batting practice, moving from behind the plate to second base. Neither Cano nor Cervelli was involved in a fielding play in the ninth inning. This kind of alignment could be more common until Derek Jeter returns from the disabled list.