Bronx, NY – Phil Hughes threw eight shutout innings for his first win of the season, leading the New York Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Hughes (1-2) limited Oakland to four hits and two walks while striking out nine in his best outing of the year. He had pitched well in each of his last three starts, all no-decisions, allowing a total of six runs over 20 innings after a rough first two starts that included eight earned runs in a total of seven innings.
Chris Stewart and Lyle Overbay slugged solo homers in support of Hughes, while Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner singled in runs for New York. The Yankees bounced back from a 2-0 loss in Friday's series opener and improved to 7-2 on a 10-game homestand that concludes Sunday.
"He mixed all his stuff," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi about Hughes. "He threw a lot of strikes, we played good defense behind him and when we had the opportunity to score runs we scored."
Bartolo Colon (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The former Yankee did not walk a batter and struck out three.
"He didn't pitch bad," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said of Colon. "He gave up two home runs and a bloop hit. Most days that will keep you in the game and give you a chance to win."
Seth Smith and Josh Reddick drove in ninth-inning runs for Oakland, which lost for just the second time in its last six games.
Stewart led off the third inning by drilling a 1-0 pitch into the left field seats for his second homer of the season and Overbay hit Colon's first pitch of the fifth into the second deck in right field for his fifth homer.
The Yankees continued swinging early in the count against Colon in the sixth, as Robinson Cano doubled to the right-center field gap on the first pitch of the inning, took third on a fly ball to right by Vernon Wells and scored on a bloop single to left by Hafner.
New York tacked on a run in the home seventh when Eduardo Nunez tripled off Chris Resop and scored on a two-out single by Gardner.
"They were big today," Girardi said about the bottom of the Yankees lineup, which accounted for half of the team's eight hits and three runs scored. "(Stewart) gets us on the board and Lyle gets a couple hits. The bottom of the lineup was excellent. Nunez's triple gets us an extra run ... that was big."
The Athletics made it interesting in the ninth against the New York bullpen. Shawn Kelley started the inning for the Yankees and surrendered a leadoff single to Yoenis Cespedes, prompting Mariano Rivera's entrance.
After a Brandon Moss walk and a fielder's choice for the first out, Smith singled in a run and Reddick drove in another when he beat the relay on a potential double-play grounder. Adam Rosales then flied harmlessly to right to end the game.
Oakland hit a few balls hard against Hughes. John Jaso belted the third pitch of the game to the wall in right and Ichiro Suzuki made a leaping catch to steal a potential homer.
The Athletics put together a mild threat in the fifth, as Reddick led off with a walk and Jaso singled to center with two outs. Jed Lowrie then flied to deep center to end the inning.
The Yankees improved to 11-0 when scoring first this season ... Cano notched his 344th career double, tying Mickey Mantle for eighth on the team's all-time list ... Chris Nelson, acquired from Colorado earlier this week, made his Yankees debut at third base and went 0-for-4 ... Oakland went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six on base ... Rivera appeared in his 1,064th game, tying Dan Plesac for sixth all-time among pitchers ... The Athletics placed outfielder Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list with a quad strain, retroactive to April 30, and recalled outfielder Michael Taylor from Triple-A Sacramento.