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Postgame notes: Hughes, Cano, Mo & more

4/24/2013

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joe Maddon was the manager who sent out a lineup card filled out by a local Chamber of Commerce. Joe Girardi was the manager who sent out a lineup that looked as if it was the local Chamber of Commerce.

And somehow, Girardi's lineup came up the winner, beating the reigning AL Cy Young winner, David Price, and the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3 Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. The highlights:

-- After a rocky first inning, Phil Hughes turned in his best performance of the season, working seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits. Best of all, no home runs allowed to the same team that smacked three off CC Sabathia Monday night. Hughes did not get the win because when he left, the Yankees were trailing, 2-1, but no matter. Hughes matched Price every step of the way.

"I'm making progress," said Hughes, who needed 35 pitches to get through the first inning but just 74 more over the next six. "I feel like I can be better, but they're certainly steps in the right direction."

-- Robinson Cano had two hits, but none bigger than the seven-pitch at-bat that culminated in a leadoff single and chased Price from the ballgame in the ninth inning. Cano came around to score along with Travis Hafner (a walk pinch-hitting for Ben Francisco) on Ichiro Suzuki's single. After starting the season 3-for-23, Cano has hit .444 since April 8 (24-for-54) and is batting .342.

-- Despite allowing Longoria's leadoff home run, Mariano Rivera earned his sixth save in six chances this season, and more importantly, wiped out the memory of the last time he pitched in The Trop, when he blew a save here on Opening Day last year.

-- Kevin Youkilis appeared in the postgame clubhouse and once again expressed hope that he will be well enough to play on Wednesday. But this time, he tempered it with some caution: "I probably rushed a little bit more than I should have the other day," he said. "That was probably careless on my part. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the day but if they say I have to wait another day, I’ll wait another day."

-- Andy Pettitte (2-0, 2.01) gets the ball tomorrow as the Yankees try to win their fifth straight series, facing RHP Alex Cobb (2-1, 2.53), first pitch at 7:10 p.m.