Athletics-Yankees Preview

In his only career start against the Oakland Athletics, Phil

Hughes flirted with a no-hitter before being forced from the

game.

The New York Yankees could use a similar outing from the

right-hander Tuesday night as they continue to try to stabilize

their rotation.

Tied atop the AL East for the eighth straight day, the Yankees

hope Hughes can bounce back from a rough performance when he faces

the A’s in the Bronx.

Hughes (15-6, 4.12 ERA) pitched 7 1-3 hitless innings at Oakland

on April 21, striking out 10, but departed after being hit by a

comebacker off the bat of Eric Chavez. He couldn’t find the ball

after it bounced off him, ending both the no-hit bid and his

night.

Hughes had gone 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA in six games coming into his

latest outing Wednesday, but suffered through his shortest start of

the season. He lasted 3 2-3 innings and gave up five runs in a 6-3

loss at Toronto.

With A.J. Burnett struggling, Andy Pettitte injured and Javier

Vazquez banished to the bullpen, New York (81-50) has been

scrambling to find viable rotation options beyond CC Sabathia.

Dustin Moseley wasn’t able to come up with a good start Monday,

allowing four runs in 4 1-3 innings, but Vazquez came on to finish

the game and the Yankees got another big night from their Alex

Rodriguez-less lineup in an 11-5 victory over All-Star Trevor

Cahill and the A’s (65-65).

Mark Teixeira returned after missing one game due to a bruised

thumb and went 3 for 3 with a home run and a double, while Robinson

Cano and Nick Swisher each had three hits and three RBIs.

Marcus Thames hit a three-run shot for his sixth home run in his

last five starts for the Yankees, who have scored 81 runs in their

last nine wins, reaching double digits five times.

“I’m just getting a chance to get in there more often,” Thames

said. “I was telling the guys, every year I go through one of these

things. It feels good, especially because we’re winning

ballgames.”

New York continued its longstanding tie with Tampa Bay for first

place with its third straight win. The Yankees said that’s the

longest stretch that two teams have been tied for first this late

in a season.

The Yankees will look to continue their offensive roll against

Vin Mazzaro (6-6, 3.61), who is 0-1 with 6.75 ERA in two starts

versus New York, both last year. He gave up six runs in 4 1-3

innings of a 6-3 loss at Yankee Stadium on July 23, 2009.

“I was a different pitcher back then. I’ve learned a lot the

past year,” Mazzaro said.

The right-hander has suffered from a lack of offense over his

last six starts, going 0-4 despite a 3.89 ERA. He has allowed three

earned runs or fewer five times during that stretch, while

receiving 11 total runs of support.

Mazzaro ended up with a similar result Thursday, giving up three

runs in 6 1-3 innings but losing 3-2 at Cleveland.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has gone 3 for 6 with two doubles

against Mazzaro in his career, while Teixeira is 2 for 6 with a

homer and a double.

Swisher has recorded at least a hit in seven straight games and

11 of 12, batting .348 in that span.

The Yankees lead the season series with the A’s 6-1.