Hughes and Gonzalez carry Yankees to second straight win over Twins

Update: Kuroda has sore left hip flexor, won't start on Friday
Prioritizing the Yankees' trade deadline needs

For just the third time in the last three weeks, the Yankees have won back-to-back games. Gotta love those Twins, they always seem to come through whenever the Bombers need a pick-me-up. Tuesday’s win was by the score of 7-3.

(Hannah Foslien/Getty)
(Hannah Foslien/Getty)

Seven-Inning Phil
For the second straight start and the third time in the last five starts (fourth time in the last seven starts as well), Phil Hughes completed seven innings of work. He ran into a little rough patch a few weeks ago where getting through five was a chore, but that appears to be in the rear view mirror. Hughes turned in his second consecutive very good and borderline excellent start, holding the Twinkies to one run in those seven innings of work.

The highlight of Phil’s night, clearly, was his escape job in the fourth inning. He walked the leadoff man and then allowed a perfectly placed double to put runners at second and third with no outs, but he got out of the jam without allowing a run thanks to two strikeouts and a routine ground ball to second. Minnesota was up 1-0 at the time and a hit would have made it a 3-0 game, which these days feels kinda insurmountable. Great job getting out of that inning.

The run scored on a Joe Mauer single, which is one of those things that will happen. I mean, it’s Joe Mauer. He’s awesome. Hughes allowed the run on six hits and two walks, striking out just three. Obviously two of them came at the perfect time in that fourth inning. Seventy of his 114 pitches were strikes (61%), though his MLB-best first pitch strike percentage (70.1%) dropped because he started only 17 of 29 batters faced with strike one. Oh well. Very well done, just what the team needed given the rotation’s recent struggles.

Gonzalez has an 80 hair tool. (Hannah Foslien/Getty)
Gonzalez has an 80 hair tool. (Hannah Foslien/Getty)

Twenty-Seven Innings
Prior to the fifth inning of this game, the last time the Yankees scored a run while Hughes was on the mound was the third inning of the series opener in Seattle, when they pounded Aaron Harang. That was June 6th (!). The Bombers went a span of 27 innings between runs with Phil on the mound, but they did him a solid and pushed three across in the fifth against Samuel Deduno on Tuesday.

The inning started with a little bit of baseball serendipity — yes, I just used serendipity in a post on a Yankees blog — as Lyle Overbay beat out a dinky little infield single. Naturally, the next batter (Chris Stewart) hit a ball right on the screws that went for an out. That’s kinda how it goes. David Adams followed with a solid single to center to put men at first and third with one out, then Alberto Gonzalez sliced a double the other way into the right field corner. Perfect speed and perfectly placed to get both runs in even though there was just one out.

Ichiro Suzuki plated Gonzalez later in the inning with an assist from Samuel Deduno — the Minnesota starter muffed a weakly hit ground ball that hugged the first base line. He tried to pick the ball up and tag Ichiro as he ran by in one quick move, but the ball never actually made it into his glove. It’s about time the Yankees scored a run on a dinky little infield hit like that. They’ve had more than their fair share go against them of late.

The Twins gave Mo a chair made out of broken bats. Genius. (Photo via @Twins)
The Twins gave Mo a chair made out of broken bats. Genius. (Photo via @Twins)

Leftovers
Remember the Nick Green Game™ in 2006? When the spare part utility infielder with 1-for-3 with an upper-deck homer, two walks, and a pair of great defensive plays in a spot start for the Yankees against the Mets? This was the Alberto Gonzalez Game™. The spare part utility infielder went 2-for-4 with the two-run double, a one-run check swing single, and a great defense play going back on a ball in shallow center. Pretty great night for the former Attorney General.

The Twins made some noise in the ninth, during Preston Claiborne‘s second inning of work. They got to him for two runs on three hits in that inning before he gave way to Adam Warren, who walked Mauer on five pitches. He was predictably rusty after appearing in just three games (!) over the last month. The whole two long men thing is kinda silly. Mariano Rivera came in for the one-out, two-pitch save.

Robinson Cano broke the game open with a three-run homer in the seventh, his fourth homer in the last three games. There are few things in this game more enjoyable than watching a locked-in Robbie Cano. The homer was his 20th of his season, and he becomes just the fourth second baseman in history with five straight 20+ homer seasons. The others: Jeff Kent, Dan Uggla, and Chase Utley. ‘Tis the era of the offensive-first second sackers.

Before Adams’ single in that fifth inning rally, Yankees third basemen were mired in an 0-for-32 (!) slump. That was the longest active slump by any position for any team in baseball, including pitchers. That is quite ridiculous. Adams tacked on a double (when to third on an error by the right fielder) in the seventh for his first multi-hit game since June 9th. Yeah, it’s been a while.

Brett Gardner, Travis Hafner, and Stewart combined to go 0-for-13 while the rest of the team went 10-for-24. Ichiro, Cano, Adams, and Gonzalez all had two hits apeice. For the second straight game and fourth time in the last five games, the Yankees picked up double-digit hits. Hooray.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights while some other stats are available at FanGraphs. ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are five back of first place in the loss column and three up on last place in the division. They’re two losses back of a wildcard spot.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Game three of this four-game set is scheduled for Wednesday night, when CC Sabathia gets the ball against right-hander P.J. Walters. The Yankees will be going for their first three-game winning streak in almost exactly a month.

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Update: Kuroda has sore left hip flexor, won't start on Friday
Prioritizing the Yankees' trade deadline needs
  • Robinson Tilapia

    I guess this answers forensic’s question.

    Also, out of respect for forensic, I won’t bring up tonight’s winning pitcher.

    • forensic

      He was good tonight, though it was the Twins.

      I don’t hold back when he actually does good stuff. It’s just the belief that they should re-sign him long-term after this (or even give him a QO) and the inevitable “He’s figuring it out” comments that I don’t agree with.

  • nycsportzfan

    Just for the record, Ichiro’s ribby infield hit was earned, because it was mostly due to his speed that he was able to rush deduno and Jorge Posada or Jose Molina are easily tagged out there.
    t

    Dellin Betances with 2k in 1inn of 0er ball tonight. With Joba trade rumours in the air and Claiborne struggling alittle, could we be in store for a killer B sighting in the bronx this summer? In a actual role of importance, of course.

  • Bob Buttons

    Serendipity for the Yankees is like Brian Cashman finds an IOU A BIG BAT note from another current GM tucked away in his couch.

  • stuart a

    Twins are a horrible team. I will take any win we can get.

    Cano is on fire again still not worth anything near10 years and $200 mill.

    Adams thank g-d got a few hits, man was he in a horrible slump.

    Almonte is playing much better then Wells, not even close…..

    • forensic

      What about the important stuff? How was A-Rod tonight? Any parades in Charleston?

    • Get Phelps Up

      ARod’s on a rehab assignment!

  • Get Phelps Up

    Another nice win all around. Can we play the Twins, Indians and Blue Jays forever?

    • trr

      I wish..

      • YanksFan

        But according to TomH the Blue Jays are THE team. Always positive about their capabilities and the NYY were lucky to win the games that they did against them.

  • Mikhel

    A little bird has told me: Luis Alfonso “el cochito” Cruz has been signed by the NY Yankees and could be with the big league team tomorrow ready to play either SS or 3B.

    I’ll see if I can contact somebody close to him and check if that rumour is true.

    • Mikhel

      Cruz says he has not reached an agreement with the NYY… he was just declared a free agent after going unclaimed in waivers.

      His defense is good, very good, but that’s it, zero offense this year (something odd for him since he has batted very well in other leagues outside of the US and has not been really bad in the minors since 5 years ago in the US).

      • JLC 776

        So you’re saying he’ll fit in with the team strategy!

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Looks like he hasn’t signed, but he was hitting .127 with the Dodgers. He better be able to track them down all over the stadium if he’s going to hit like that.

          The smartest thing that came out of Suzyn Waldman’s mouth all season was when she looked at Sterling and said, “doesn’t it feel like we’re always signing the same guy?”

          • jsbrendog

            ah suze, a face for radio and a voice for the silent pictures.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Yet I strangely like her presence on my radio broadcast. There’s something about ma and pa that’s like an old smelly pair of socks full of holes that you just don’t throw out to me.

  • Darren

    Arod looked pretty good in the clips I’ve seen. I mean, he looked uninjured, so that’s all you want for now. Although Curt Schilling that fucking blowhard just said that he doesn’t think Arod is going to play this year. Jesus, I hope Alex proves him wrong.

    • jsbrendog

      jokes on curt shilling. arod played last night. there’s a box score to prove it.

  • Bo Knows

    Even against the worst Yankee team in probably two decades, the Twins still have the decency to act like France and surrender.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    What a difference it makes scoring some runs. These last 2 games were like Old times.

    • Dalek Jeter

      The Twins will do that.

  • Wheels

    The former Attorney General, good one.

    • Pat D

      Actually he was a pretty bad AG.

      • Wheels

        I meant the joke was a good one.

      • B Robe Regiment

        He was a saint compared to our current one. Holder has been an absolute blight, and very reflective of his two bosses (Clinton & Obama) on two separate administrations. Definitely needs to be impeached and serve jail time for his role in Fast & Furious, AP/Fox News intimidation scandals. Guy’s a historical corrupt crook.

        /Necessary Rant whenever “bad attorney general” is typed.

        • vicki

          i do marvel at what you and your tiny penis consider to be necessary.

          • Jim Is Bored

            You’re weird sometimes.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          *drops titanium dome only unlocked from the outside*

    • David N

      Such a good game for him, it’s just a shame that he won’t be able to recall it when asked about it a few years down the road.

  • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    Don’t care who it’s against it’s a win moving on.

    Boar’s Head Natural All Beef Hot Dogs Presents Mustang’s Has Been and Wannabee of the Game Awards:

    The Wannabe of the game is
    Alberto “Hope mom saw this game” Gonzalez

    The Has Been of the game is Phil “Minnesota/homes/listing.com” Hughes

    The A-Rod effect still in full force.

    • MannyGeee

      Phil Hughes as Wannabe of the game never disappoints. Good on you, Mustang.

  • forensic

    Mark Teixeira ?@teixeiramark25 14h
    Successful surgery yesterday, doc said it couldn’t have gone better. Looking forward to watching my #Yankee teammates tonight vs the Twins.

    Hey, you’re not allowed to tweet anything your doctor said. What did the Yankees doctor’s think of it?

    • Kramerica Industries

      Won’t you just STFU already?

      • forensic

        :-)

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    In personal news, I am a very disappointed man. We were told to get in pictures of rehearsals to a local paper by Tuesday night, but due to problems uploading the pics we couldn’t get them in until a little bit after 1:00 AM (yeah, it was pretty ridiculous). Very disappointing.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Ugh. Great to get a win, but the upbeat clubhouse because the idea that the “offense is fixed” makes my stomach turn a little bit.

    Its the Twins….

    • vicki

      carpe diem, guy.

      • Rick

        I have Champions Suite Yankee Tickets when they play the Red Sox in September. You coming with me?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      They don’t count as half-games in the standings. Making sure you win games like this is a big part of the battle.

      No one is declaring the issues over. We shouldn’t be easily dismissing these games, though.

      • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        THIS!!!!!

        For some resaon wins against the Twins count less.

        Yep, all righty then.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Who said the offense is fixed?

      • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        No one.

  • Kosmo

    broken bat chair is a stroke of genius. Very clever idea. great photo.

  • pat

    Another Yankee win another 30 something comments in the recap. L-O-L

  • JLC 776

    Hit the rack after it was 7-1 in the 8th pretty convinced of the win. Checked the box this morning and was really surprised to see Mo had to come in! Two pitches and that impossible record gets one notch higher!

    Anyway, it’s amazing the curse this team has against the Yankees. I’ve never seen anything like this.

  • mt

    But with one win there always seems to comes another injury (Kuroda will not pitch Friday) – maybe they should also shut Kuroda down for his next start after that aaginst Royals which would have been his last start before the All Star game. It might be good to give an older pitcher some needed rest in middle of season. Kuroda is gutsy – he still was pretty good against Orioles even though he was pitching with this injury. Maybe that is why his breaking stuff was so flat on some of those solo HRs – he couldn’t fully extend during his delivery.

    Picking up on an earlier comment above, Curt Schilling does come off very pompous when saying Arod will never play again for Yanks. So then that means he doesn’t have to fully engage or react to on any comments by his cohorts on Basball Tonight on how he looks during his rehab. He seems to think he will be suspended for Biogenesis even if Alex is ready on July 22nd – he may be right about that but this is the biq question – if Alex appeals doesn’t Arod still get to play while appeal process is going on? If Alex is healthy enough to play I belive Yanks will play him – the cat already is out of the bag in terms of Yankees disappointment and disgust with him, I do feel that at this point Yankees want him on field given 3B offensive disaster and will let him play during his appeal.

    • jsbrendog

      curt shilling is not only a blowhard but he is a bankrupt douchebag who lost millions in government funding by running his shitty company into the ground. he is a grade a ree-taaard

    • Robinson Tilapia

      If he’s right, it’s more sheer luck than actual analysis on Schilling’s part.

      I’d be up for shutting Kuroda down until the ASB, but we are doing a fair amount of reading tea leaves with his diagnosis.

      • MannyGeee

        “Curt Schilling” and “analysis” should never be mentioned in the same sentence. Because he doesn’t analyze. He is a “gut feel’ commentator.

        Not that there’s anything wrong with that, guys like Kruk have made a second career of being a ‘gut feel’ commentator… Lets just be sure to not label him something he isn’t, regardless of what the scroll under his name on ESPN says.

  • Jim Is Bored

    “if Alex appeals doesn’t Arod still get to play while appeal process is going on?”

    Yes