NEW YORK — Phil Hughes pitched eight shutout innings of four-hit ball for his first win of the season, and the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Saturday.
Chris Stewart and Lyle Overbay homered against Bartolo Colon, sending the A’s to their only loss in the right-hander’s six starts this year. Hughes (1-2) struck out nine and outpitched his former New York teammate for his first victory since Sept. 20 against Toronto.
Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner each had an RBI single for the Yankees, who bounced back from a 2-0 loss to A.J. Griffin in the series opener Friday night and improved to 7-2 on their 10-game homestand.
Oakland has dropped 10 of 15 after opening the season 12-4. The A’s, who had won six of eight against New York, are 13-3 against AL West teams and 4-11 vs. everyone else.
Hughes, hit hard while losing his first two starts of the season, turned in his fourth consecutive strong outing of at least six innings and no more than two runs allowed. And this one was probably the best of the bunch.
The 26-year-old right-hander shut down an Oakland offense that began the day leading the majors in runs (164) and extra-base hits (105). He walked two against a team that entered with 142 bases on balls — 25 more than any other team.
Hughes threw 82 of his 118 pitches for strikes. Shawn Kelley gave up a leadoff single in the ninth and Oakland scored twice with Mariano Rivera on the mound in a non-save situation before he finished the six-hitter.
Showing late life and plenty of zip on his fastball, Hughes struck out five in the first three innings and induced a double-play grounder in the fourth. He retired Jed Lowrie with two on to end the fifth and fanned Yoenis Cespedes with a 93 mph fastball to begin the sixth.
Robinson Cano opened the bottom half with his 344th career double, tying Mickey Mantle for eighth place in Yankees history. He later scored when Hafner blooped a single well beyond a drawn-in infield.
That made it 3-0 and ended the afternoon for Colon (3-1), who gave up six hits over 5 1-3 innings — his shortest start this season. The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner, who pitched for the Yankees in 2011, has walked only one in 37 1-3 innings this season.
Eduardo Nunez tripled off Chris Resop in the seventh and scored on Gardner’s two-out single.
Stewart, batting ninth, led off the third with a drive to left for his sixth major league home run. Overbay sent Colon’s first pitch of the fifth into the second deck in right for his fifth of the season.
One day after Adam Rosales hit a leadoff homer for the A’s, John Jaso nearly duplicated the feat. His drive was caught by a leaping Ichiro Suzuki at the right-field fence.
Josh Reddick made a similar play for Oakland — in almost the same spot — against Gardner in the third.
Reddick went 0 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. He has one hit in his last 22 at-bats and is 0 for 33 in 11 career games at the current Yankee Stadium.
NOTES: Oakland put OF Chris Young (strained left quadriceps) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 30, and recalled OF Michael Taylor from Triple-A Sacramento. Taylor is likely to get playing time against left-handed pitching, manager Bob Melvin said. ... LHP Andy Pettitte (3-2, 3.86 ERA) starts Sunday for New York against RHP Dan Straily (1-0, 6.35) in the series finale. The 40-year-old Pettitte was roughed up by last-place Houston in a 9-1 loss Monday. He earned his first major league win against the A’s in June 1995 and is 11-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 21 starts against Oakland. ... Chris Nelson started at 3B in his Yankees debut and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Nelson was acquired Wednesday night from Colorado for a player to be named or cash, adding depth to New York’s injury-ravaged infield. ... Yankees OF Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch in the upper right arm at extended spring training in Tampa, Fla. Granderson, rehabbing from a broken right forearm, stayed in the intrasquad game and said he was fine. “It was going to happen one of these days,” he said. Granderson had two singles in four at-bats and played all three outfield positions. The slugger broke his arm when he was hit by a pitch from Toronto LHP J.A. Happ in his first at-bat of spring training on Feb. 24.
TORONTO — Dustin Ackley hit his first career grand slam, Michael Saunders homered twice and the Seattle Mariners roughed up Cy Young knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, beating the struggling Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Seattle’s offensive outburst was welcomed by right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, who’d received just one run of support in his previous three outings. He pitched seven sharp innings to win for the first time in four starts.
Pitching on an extra day of rest as he attempted to overcome neck and back soreness, Dickey lost his third straight start. He allowed six hits, including a season-high three home runs. He walked two and struck out five.
Dickey (2-5) was booed by the crowd of 35,754 after Raul Ibanez hit a one-out triple to center in the sixth and scored on Kelly Shoppach’s double. As the runs piled up, some fans responded with chants of “Go Leafs Go” for the NHL’s Maple Leafs, currently in the playoffs against the Boston Bruins.
Iwakuma (3-1) allowed one run and five hits. He walked three and struck out five, lowering his ERA to 1.61. Yoervis Medina pitched the eighth and Oliver Perez worked the ninth for the Mariners, who have won seven of their past eight meetings with Toronto.
Saunders homered on Dickey’s second pitch of the game, the second leadoff homer of his career, then added another solo shot in the fifth. It was the fourth multihomer game of his career and his first this season.
Saunders added an RBI double off Brett Cecil in the ninth and finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs.
Ackley connected on a 3-2 pitch in the fourth, immediately after Dickey (2-5) had loaded the bases with back-to-back walks to Ibanez and Shoppach. The blast to center was Ackley’s first homer of the season.
Dickey lost consecutive starts only once during his NL Cy Young season with the New York Mets in 2012. His last three-start losing streak came in July and August of 2011.
It was a bad day all around for the Blue Jays, who even appeared to lose track of the number of outs and were slow to come off the field after Kendrys Morales struck out to end the fifth.
Toronto has lost four straight and has been outscored 25-3 since Tuesday’s 9-7 comeback win over Boston. A season-worst 11 games below .500, the Blue Jays have lost 14 of 18 overall.
Blanked by Felix Hernandez on Friday, the Blue Jays struggled to get anything going against Iwakuma, finally snapping a 23-inning scoreless streak on Munenori Kawasaki’s sacrifice fly in the seventh.
CLEVELAND — Scott Kazmir earned his first victory in three seasons, Nick Swisher homered in his first at-bat since missing three games with a sore shoulder and the Cleveland Indians beat Minnesota 7-3 Saturday for their sixth straight victory.
Kazmir (1-1), a two-time AL All-Star who pitched in an independent league last season, allowed two runs in six innings. It was his first win since beating Tampa Bay on Sept. 19, 2010, while with the Angels.
The left-hander, who allowed eight earned runs in 8 1-3 innings in his first two starts, struck out seven.
Swisher, who hadn’t played since Monday, homered off Kevin Correia (3-2) in the first. Jason Kipnis, who had three hits, also homered in the inning and added an RBI single in the second.
Cleveland has won six straight for the first time since winning seven in a row April 26-May 3, 2011.
Rookie outfielder Aaron Hicks, the Twins’ top prospect, hit his first major league home run to lead off the fifth, clearing the 19-foot wall in left field.
Kazmir on 53 games for the Rays from 2005-09 before his career his career was derailed by arm injuries. He was 9-15 for the Angels in 2010 and appeared in only one game in 2011 before being released.
Kazmir pitched for Sugar Land in the Atlantic League last season, going 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA in 14 games. He signed a minor league contract with the Indians in January.
Reds 6, Cubs 4
CHICAGO — Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco each had a sacrifice fly in Cincinnati’s four-run eighth inning, and the Reds rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Cincinnati had just one hit in the decisive rally, but took advantage of another woeful outing by reliever Carlos Marmol to secure its first winning road series of the season. The Reds held on for a 6-5 victory in the opener on Friday when Darwin Barney struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run homers for the Cubs, who have lost four of five. It was Soriano’s 31st career multihomer game.
Shin-Soo Choo homered on the first pitch of the game. Jeff Samardzija went on to pitch six effective innings for Chicago.
James Russell got three outs before Marmol (2-2) came on to begin the eighth with a 4-2 lead. It was Marmol’s 453rd relief appearance with the Cubs, snapping a tie with Lee Smith for the franchise record.
The erratic right-hander marked the occasion by walking Zack Cozart on four pitches, walking Joey Votto on a full count and hitting Brandon Phillips to load the bases with no outs.
That was enough for manager Dale Sveum, who replaced Marmol with Hector Rondon. The crowd of 36,455 showered Marmol with boos as he made his way to the dugout.
Jay Bruce hit an RBI single and Frazier followed with a fly ball to right, tying it at 4. After Xavier Paul was walked intentionally, pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan walked to force home a run and Mesoraco, another pinch hitter, sent another fly ball into right field to give the Reds a 6-4 lead.
Logan Ondrusek (2-0) worked the seventh, Jonathan Broxton pitched the eighth and Aroldis Chapman finished for his seventh save. Chapman worked around a one-out walk by Soriano one day after he gave up three runs in a non-save opportunity.MORE IN Sports WireNEW YORK — The NFL and the players’ union are close to finalizing the drug policy changes they... Full Story
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