Hughes will attempt to bounce back from the worst start of his career and lead the Yankees to their fourth straight win Tuesday night against the sinking Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
CC Sabathia didn't have his best stuff in the series opener Monday, allowing at least 10 hits in consecutive starts for only the third time in his career before leaving down 4-3 in the seventh inning.
With several key players still out because of injuries, the Yankees have won 10 of 13 and remain atop the AL East partly due to a pitching staff that has posted a 2.85 ERA over that span.
Hughes (2-5, 5.88 ERA), though, has yet to contribute to the staff's success during that stretch, getting roughed up for 13 runs and 13 hits over 6 1-3 innings in his last two starts. He had gone 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his previous four.
The right-hander had never failed to make it out of the first in 110 previous starts before getting only two outs in a 12-2 loss to Seattle on Wednesday."When I tried to go to changeup, slider, curveball, it seemed like nothing was there," said Hughes, a 16-game winner in 2012.
His last outing against the Orioles was also a short stint, allowing five runs and nine hits - including three homers - over three-plus innings in a 5-3 loss April 13.
It's been a different story at Camden Yards, where he's given up only one homer while going 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his last three starts.
Nick Markakis , who has batted .386 while hitting safely in nine of his last 10 games, has done some damage against Hughes with a .326 batting average and two homers in 43 career at-bats.
Nate McLouth should be happy about seeing Hughes again - he's 7 for 9 with four doubles.
The Orioles will try to avoid their seventh straight loss on this eight-game homestand and eighth in a row overall at Camden Yards. It's their worst home losing streak since an 11-game slide Aug. 22-Sept. 7, 2007.
Scheduled starter Miguel Gonzalez (2-2, 4.58) looks to end the skid in his first start since coming off the disabled list because of a blister on his right thumb.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 26 2-3 innings over four career starts against the Yankees, including a solid outing in the 2012 ALDS. Gonzalez took the loss in his last start versus New York, giving up three runs and walking five over six-plus innings in a 5-2 loss April 12.
Robinson Cano was 2 for 3 versus Gonzalez after going hitless in his six previous at-bats in this matchup. He hit his 13th homer in the first inning Monday before Baltimore's Chris Davis re-tied him for the AL lead an inning later.
Cano is batting .431 with 11 homers and 25 RBIs in his last 40 regular-season games at Camden Yards.
|New York Yankees|
|May 17, 2013||Andy Pettitte||15-Day DL||Strained left trapezius muscle|
|May 16, 2013||Andy Pettitte||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight left trapezius|
|May 16, 2013||Chris Stewart||Day-to-Day||Left groin injury|
|May 06, 2013||Eduardo Nunez||15-Day DL||Left ribcage strain|
|May 05, 2013||Eduardo Nunez||Day-to-Day||Left game - tightness in left ribcage|
|May 03, 2013||David Robertson||Day-to-Day||Sore left hamstring|
|May 13, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 12, 2013||Nolan Reimold||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 12, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||Day-to-Day||Right oblique strain|
|May 04, 2013||Miguel Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Right thumb blister|
|May 03, 2013||Chris Davis||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee soreness|
|April 28, 2013||Taylor Teagarden||15-Day DL||Dislocated left thumb|
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The shaving cream was still glopped on Chris Dickerson 's head and shoulders long after the final pitch, a tell-tale indicator that the Baltimore Orioles had finally returned to celebratory mode at Camden Yards.
Nate McLouth homered leading off the bottom of the 10th inning, Dickerson hit a pair of solo shots and the Orioles beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Tuesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.
McLouth hit a 1-1 pitch from Vidal Nuno (1-1) into the bleachers in right-center to give the Orioles their first win since May 12. Dickerson, who played sparingly for the Yankees in each of the past two seasons, connected off Phil Hughes in the third and fifth innings - the first two-homer game of his career.
For their efforts, McLouth and Dickerson each got a shaving cream pie from teammate Adam Jones during their postgame interviews. It was a fitting way to mark the end of a skid in which all six defeats came at home.
"We really needed this win," Dickerson said. "This team continues to grind, continues to push forward even when the chips are down. Nate came up huge. This was one of those things that can turn it around."
Asked if it was the best night of his baseball career, Dickerson quickly replied, "Absolutely. Under the circumstances, yeah. ... As soon as I saw the lineup card I was already fired up, just to get the opportunity to play against them. But to go out and have that result, it was awesome."
Jim Johnson (2-4), who blew three save opportunities during the six-game skid, got three straight outs in the 10th.
"I'm just happy about the outcome of the game," Johnson said.
His performance capped an exceptional effort by Orioles pitchers, who retired 21 of the last 22 New York batters.
"It was nice to win, period," manager Buck Showalter said. "Anytime, regardless of yesterday and the day before. We don't get bogged down in that woe is me and this means that. You've got to keep turning the page."
Travis Hafner drove in both runs for the Yankees, who fell to 19-1 when scoring first. Dickerson's role in New York's defeat did not go unnoticed by manager Joe Girardi .
"We've had him up a couple times and he's done some good things for us," he said. "He helped them tonight."
Hughes allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. Coming off a horrid start against Seattle in which the right-hander yielded seven runs and got only two outs, Hughes kept the Orioles in check - except for Dickerson.
"I thought he did OK," Girardi said. "He gave us a great chance to win the game."
Both bullpens matched zeroes until Nuno threw his third pitch.
"It was supposed to be a cutter away," the left-hander said. "It felt a little bit off and he took advantage of it. One pitch and it cost us the game. Got to forget about it and get ready to pitch tomorrow."
Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez gave up two runs and five hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking none. The right-hander came off the disabled list before the game following an 18-day absence with a blister on his right thumb.
"It was fun to be out there again after two weeks being out and giving a chance to my team to win a ballgame," Gonzalez said. "I think that was fun, especially getting ahead of guys. That was important."
New York got a first-inning run when Brett Gardner doubled and scored on a two-out single by Hafner. Dickerson tied it with a drive to right-center on a 3-2 pitch.
The Yankees quickly moved back in front. Vernon Wells led off the fourth with a double and Hafner followed with an RBI single.
Dickerson's second homer of the game, leading off the fifth, made it 2-all.
Gonzalez retired 11 straight batters before David Adams singled with two outs in the seventh. Lance Nix followed with a liner that right fielder Nick Markakis snagged with a dive.
NOTES: To clear a roster spot for Gonzalez, the Orioles optioned RHP Jair Jurrjens to Triple-A Norfolk. Jurrjens started one game for Baltimore, receiving a no-decision Saturday against Tampa Bay. ...RHP Hiroki Kuroda will start for New York on Wednesday night in the finale of the three-game series. The Orioles will start Jason Hammel , who is 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA in three home starts. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said SS Derek Jeter (left ankle) "is not really doing anything yet" and LHP Andy Pettitte (strained trapezius muscle) has not starting throwing. ... Orioles C Matt Wieters turned 27 on Tuesday.