In the very first at bat of the day, it looked as if Bad Phil Hughes might have shown up for the Yankees. John Jaso took the third pitch of the game to deep right field, and looked like he might have given the A's their second lead-off home run in as many days. But Ichiro Suzuki made a leaping catch at the wall to deny a home run (or any other extra base hit). But after that, there wouldn't be any more problems, as Hughes was spectacular, striking out nine, and allowing no runs on just four hits and two walks in eight innings. Add to that a few runs from the offense, and the Yankees came away with a fairly easy 4-2 win.
Oakland got a runner in scoring position just twice against Hughes. With one out in the second inning, Josh Donaldson doubled off Hughes. Vernon Wells very nearly made a catch on the play, but he had too far to run and couldn't quite make the sliding catch. But it was no biggie for Good Phil Hughes, as he got Josh Reddick to line out and then struck out Adam Rosales.
The A's other best chance against Phil came in the fifth inning. Hughes started the inning by issuing one of his two walks, putting Reddick on first base. After retiring Rosales and Eric Sogard, Jaso singled, to put runners at first and second. But Phil got Jed Lowrie to lineout to center to get himself out of it. Other than that, Oakland didn't have any other major scoring chances against Phil, as he dominated. Sure, there were the occasional hard hit outs, but that's gonna happen with Hughes.
The Good Phil Hughes was especially helpful today, as former Yankee Bartolo Colon was able to limit the Yankees' offense for the most part. But Colon wasn't quite as good as Hughes as the offense was able to get to him a couple times. Chris Stewart led off the bottom of the third inning with a home run to open the game's scoring. In the fifth inning, the Yankees double the lead. Overbay took the first pitch of the inning into the second deck in right field, making it 2-0 Yankees.
And the offense added to that in the next couple innings. Robinson Cano led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a double. A Vernon Wells fly out to right was deep enough to move Cano up a base, and allowed Robinson to score when Travis Hafner blooped one to left a batter later. That made it 3-0 Yankees. But the Yankees weren't done yet. With one out in the seventh inning, Eduardo Nunez tripled to center, losing his helmet in the process, of course. Two batters later Brett Gardner singled to score Nunez, and it was 4-0.
It didn't look like it at the time, but the last two runs ended up being kinda big. Shawn Kelley was brought in to pitch the ninth inning, and immediately gave up a single to Yoenis Cespedes. Girardi decided not to mess around and went right to Mariano Rivera. While it wasn't Mo's best outing, in the end he finished it off. Mo walked the first batter he faced, Brandon Moss, putting runners on first at second. Next batter, Josh Donaldson grounded into a force out at second, but put runners on the corners. Seth Smith singled to score a run, ending the shutout and keeping runners at the corners. Josh Reddick nearly grounded into a game ending double play, but just beat out the throw to first, cutting the lead to 4-2 and keeping the A's alive. Mo finally ended the game by getting Rosales to fly out to right field. The ninth wasn't pretty but it was enough, as the Yankees won 4-2.
The Yankees and the A's wrap up their series in the Bronx tomorrow. Andy Pettitte gets the start for the Yankees. First pitch is at 1:05 eastern.