The Yankees' eight-game win streak came to an end today at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the long ball. Phil Hughes looked sharp in the early innings, but struggled to put hitters away with two strikes. In the first inning, after striking out Jose Bautista, Hughes gave up a two run home run to Vernon Wells on an 0-2 count. In the third inning he gave up another two run homer on an 0-2 count to Aaron Hill. It was 4-0 at that point, which would have made it more than enough to beat the Yankees today, but Toronto added three more runs for good measure, including a home run to John Buck, making it three on the day.
Brett Cecil was good but not great. He lasted 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on 102 pitches. Had Hughes been stronger that would have been enough to keep the Yankees in the game. Both young pitchers lasted at least six innings, but Hughes gave up a total of six runs over that time. Sergio Mitre allowed one run to score in his 2.2 innings of work.
Alex Rodriguez made his return in this game. He did well. A-Rod went 2-5 with an RBI. Alex also struck out looking to end the game, so he's picking up where he left off. The pitch was actually a ball. Alex didn't say anything, but Michael Kay did, exclaiming that the umpire probably wanted to get home.
The string of matinees continues tomorrow at one p.m. The Buck Showalter fueled Baltimore Orioles come to the Bronx to end the longest Yankee homestand of the season with a three game set. Normally this would be an easy opportunity for the Yankees to pick up three quick wins before hitting the road, but Baltimore's play has been inspired since Showalter became the team's manager and spiritual leader. The Orioles beat the Rays yesterday and clung to an 8-7 victory today. The victory keeps Tampa 2.5 games behind the Yankees, but serves as a reminder that these are not the Orioles from the beginning of the season.