Phil Hughes took an impressive no-hit try into the eighth inning last night, losing it when Eric Chavez bounced a hard comebacker off the pitcher’s forearm and chest in the New York Yankees’ 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Hughes (2-0) struck out a career-high 10 in the Yankees’ sixth straight win, with his parents in the stands to see it after driving up from Orange County for his outing. Hughes was in complete control until Chavez opened the eighth with that one-hopper back to the mound.
This was the second near-miss for the 23-year old future star. Hughes had a no-hitter through 6.1 innings in 2007 against Texas.
Hughes gave up only one hit in 7.1 innings and walked two.
Two batters after Chavez got aboard, Hughes walked Gabe Gross and was done. He was charged with Oakland’s lone run in the standout 101-pitch performance after pinch-hitter Jake Fox had an RBI single off Joba Chamberlain.
Mariano Rivera finished the three-hitter for his sixth save in as many chances.
Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano hit back-to-back triples to start the fourth off A’s starter Ben Sheets. Posada followed Cano’s hit with an RBI groundout. Brett Gardner’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth provided an insurance run.
With the win last night, the Yankees matched the 1926 franchise record by winning its first five series of the season.
One very interesting tidbit that reflects the Yankees’ pitching dominance and defensive approach in each game is that they have held opponents to three or fewer runs in each game during their winning streak. With the exception of Javy Vazquez, the other four starters are a combined 8-0.
CC Sabathia takes the mound this afternoon going for the sweep of the A’s in front of the hometown crowd where he grew up. First pitch is for 3:35 p.m.