Phil Hughes recorded his sixth straight home victory, allowing one run over seven innings as the New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.
Hughes scattered four hits and had five strikeouts last night at Yankee Stadium to improve his record to 13-11 on the Major League Baseball season. Relief pitcher Rafael Soriano threw a perfect ninth inning -- one day after blowing a two-run lead -- for his 34th save.
The Yankees (75-54) maintained their 3 1/2-game lead in the American League East over the Baltimore Orioles, who topped the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox 6-0 last night as Chris Tillman pitched seven shutout innings. New York is in second place in the AL, two games behind the Texas Rangers, who beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 to improve to 77-52.
Nick Swisher hit a run-scoring single in the third inning and Steve Pearce, making his Yankee debut one day after being acquired from the Houston Astros, scored in the fourth inning on Curtis Granderson’s sacrifice fly.
The Yankees are playing without Mark Teixeira, who strained his left calf muscle this week. He’s expected to be out at least a week, although Derek Jeter had a similar injury that sidelined him for three weeks last season.
“One person’s pull is a week and another’s is a month,” Teixeira told reporters. “That’s just the way it is.”
Adeiny Hechavarria hit his first home run of the season off Hughes in the fifth inning.
Ricky Romero (8-12) surrendered two runs on five hits in seven innings for the Blue Jays (57-71). His 11th straight loss over a 12-start stretch set the longest single-season losing streak in Toronto franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Orioles and Oakland Athletics, both 71-57, head the race for the AL’s two wild card playoff berths, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rays. The Athletics shut out the Cleveland Indians 7-0 yesterday.
The Washington Nationals, who lead the National League East, had their losing streak reach five games with a 9-0 defeat against the Miami Marlins.