Phil Hughes matching up with the Miguel Cabrera and Tigers' offense in Yankee Stadium went about as well as you would've guessed. Hughes lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, two of which were home runs. The Tigers would tack on another couple runs against the bullpen and come away with a 9-3 win.
Hughes' bad day stared with the very first at bat. Austin Jackson led off the game by lacing a triple into center. He scored one batter later, when he tagged up and came home on Torii Hunter's sacrifice fly. Phil, thankfully, managed to keep Cabrera in the park, allowing just a single. Hughes then somehow managed to strike out Prince Fielder, despite falling behind 3-0 in the count. Victor Martinez flied out to end the inning, but the Tigers had opened up a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, with the score still 1-0, Cabrera came back up to the plate. This time, Hughes did not keep him in the ballpark. Cabrera smashed a one-out home run far over the left field wall. Thankfully there was no on one base and it only made the score 2-0.
Hughes allowed just two runs in the first four innings, but was laboring way more the the score indicated. Through four innings, Hughes had thrown 89 pitches.
The Yankees' offense was not having similar success against Anibal Sanchez. The first nine Yankee hitters went down in order. The first Yankee to get on base was Brett Gardner, who led off the fourth inning with a bloop single. That was nearly erased by a Ichiro Suzuki double play, but the throw to first was off and Ichiro beat it out anyway. Robinson Cano came up next. Ichiro stole second during that at bat, and then moved to third when Cano singled. However, neither Alfonso Soriano or Curtis Granderson could bring a run home. They both struck out, which kept the score at 2-0.
After that offensive fail, Hughes promptly served up a solo home run to Jackson in the fifth inning. And after Hunter singled, Girardi pulled Hughes from the game rather than let him face Cabrera again. He threw 99 pitches in his 4.1 innings.
Preston Claiborne was brought in to deal with what Hughes left behind. He started off by facing Cabrera, who blooped a single. That put runners at first and second with one out. Claiborne struck out Fielder, but Martinez then hit a single. That scored Hunter and made it 4-0 Tigers. The crappy inning then only continued as Don Kelly singled. That scored two more runs and made it 6-0. Claiborne finally got out of it by striking out Alex Avila.
Right after the Tigers really broke it open was, of course, when the Yankees got on the board. Eduardo Nunez led off the bottom of the sixth with a double. That was followed by Lyle Overbay launching a home run to right. That cut the Tigers' lead to 6-2.
Claiborne came back out for the sixth. He got the first out, but then allowed a single to Jose Iglesias, and walked Jackson. After that, Claiborne was done and Joba Chamberlain was brought in. Chamberlain marked his arrival in the game by serving up a three run home run to Hunter, which made it 9-2 Tigers. Somehow, Joba was the first person to retire Cabrera though, as he got him to fly out.
After the home run allowed by Joba, the bullpen settled down. Chamberlain came back out and threw a scoreless seventh inning, followed by Adam Warren throwing two. However, the offense wasn't doing much against the Tigers' pitching. Sanchez finished his day after the seventh inning. He went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk. Drew Smyly came in and threw a scoreless eighth.
The Yankees did manage to eek out another run in the ninth. With Jeremy Bonderman pitching, Granderson drew a walk and came around to score on an Overbay single. Jayson Nix came up next and couldn't keep it going, as he struck out to end the game. The Tigers evened up the series with a 9-3 win.
Andy Pettitte and Justin Verlander will be the starters for the series finale tomorrow. First pitch at Yankee Stadium is at 1:05 eastern.