Braves' bombs blast Hughes in Bronx
June, 20, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Al Bello/Getty ImagesPhil Hughes couldn't, um, take the heat on Wednesday afternoon.
He blamed himself.
The 25-year-old right-hander had bad stuff and couldn't locate on Wednesday afternoon. As a result, he gave up a career-high four home runs in the Yankees' 10-5 loss to the Braves at Yankee Stadium.
"If I don't have good stuff or location, it's a battle," said Hughes (7-6), who saw his personal three-game winning streak come to an end after he was tagged for six runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings on a sweltering 95-degree day in the Bronx.
Hughes has now yielded an MLB-high 19 bombs this season.
"He made some mistakes with his fastball. It had some run on it today," manager Joe Girardi said.
Hughes had allowed just four earned runs in his previous three starts -- all wins.
That's history now.
In the first inning, Hughes failed to hold Michael Bourn on, allowing the speedster to steal second base after he singled leading off the frame. Bourn scored on Dan Uggla's two-out single, and Freddie Freeman followed with a two-run blast to stake Atlanta to a 3-0 lead. Martin Prado (third), Jason Heyward (fourth) and David Ross (fifth) took Hughes yard in consecutive innings.
Hughes was booed off the mound after he was taken out by Girardi. He had been 6-1 with a 3.27 ERA over his previous eight starts, lowering his overall ERA from 7.48 to 4.50 in the process.
Now, that ERA stands at 4.94.
Is it just one start? Or, perhaps, a sign of more duds to come? What is your level of concern on Hughes? Let us know in the comments section.
• Mark Teixeira (sore and tight heel), who delivered a pinch-hit double with two outs in the eighth, believes he should be able to play in the opener of Subway Series Part II on Friday night at Citi Field.
Teixeira wasn’t supposed to play Wednesday, but asked Girardi if he needed him.
“He said, ‘Yeah, get loose,’” Teixeira said. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to hobble through nine innings, but a pinch-hit at-bat and an inning in the field, yeah, I could get through that.”
Teixeira received treatment before getting into the game and said everything loosened up a bit.
He was glad that there wasn’t a close play at second.
• The Yankees (41-27) lost their second straight game to drop consecutive games for the first time since May 28-29 at Los Angeles (A.L.). ... They are 11-4 in interleague play. ... They had won five consecutive series prior to dropping this one. ... Lefty Clay Rapada has now held his opponents hitless in each of their past 20 at-bats against him, marking a new career high, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
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