We’ll start with Phil Hughes, who held the Twins to a mere two hits over 7 2/3 innings — his longest outing of the season — as the Yankees beat Minnesota 8-1 Friday night. While Hughes was both efficient (needing only 106 pitches to complete nearly eight innings) and effective (70 of those pitches were strikes), he also only recorded two strikeouts (and only two swinging strikes) against three walks. By my rough calculations, his GB% for this game was only 38%, and his BABIP was a nonexistent .048, so yeah, you could probably say Phil got a little lucky in this one, but 7.2 innings of one-run ball — even against an opponent scuffling as badly as Minnesota is — is still 7.2 innings of one-run ball. And who knows, perhaps playing in Minnesota made him feel like giving the whole pitching-to-contact thing a whirl.
Hughes was backed by a two-home-run game from Russell Martin, along with a three-RBI game by Mark Teixeira, as the Yankees pounded out 13 hits. Kevin Slowey, in his first start of the season, fared nearly as poorly as rotationmate Brian Duensing did on Thursday night, going 5.2 innings and giving up 6 runs on 9 hits.
The only damage done against Hughes was a homer by Trevor Plouffe — who came into the game with a .297 wOBA, so of course he ended up going yard — all the way back in the first. Hughes settled down after that and retired the Twins in order from the third through sixth innings.
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