(Sports Network) - Phil Hughes goes after win No. 15 this afternoon when the New York Yankees close out their four-game series with the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium.
Hughes has alternated wins and losses in his last seven outings, but picked up a win his previous time out on Saturday in Kansas City thanks to five home runs, three of which came off the bat of Alex Rodriguez. Hughes did his part, though, as he allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings to up his mark to 14-5 on the year to go along with a 3.94 earned run average.
"I'm really lucky to have a great offense behind me, anytime you can look up and see that," Hughes said. "I feel like I've been throwing the ball OK here and there, and it seems like we've been scoring enough runs to win. It's a nice feeling."
Hughes tossed seven scoreless innings to beat the Tigers the last time he faced them and is 3-2 lifetime in this series with a 3.86 ERA in six games (four starts).
Detroit, meanwhile, will counter with a young right-hander of its own in 21- year-old Rick Porcello, who grew up as a Yankee fan in nearby New Jersey. A 14-game winner a year ago, Porcello has struggled in season two, going 5-10 with a 5.53 ERA.
One of those wins, though, came against the Yankees, who could not muster a run in seven innings off of Porcello back on May 12. He is 1-1 in his two starts against the Bronx Bombers with a 5.06 ERA.
New York rode the long ball to a win on Wednesday, as Mark Teixeira had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Curtis Granderson went deep for a second straight night against his former team, helping the Yankees to a 9-5 win.
Teixeira and Robinson Cano hit consecutive homers off Jeremy Bonderman (6-9) in the opening inning and Granderson added another off the right-hander in the fifth, as the Yankees won their second in a row and remained in a tie with Tampa Bay atop the AL East.
Dustin Moseley (3-2) allowed five hits and four runs over five innings to get the win.
Rodriguez was out of the lineup a second straight night due to a strained left calf muscle.
Miguel Cabrera belted a pair of solo homers for the Tigers, who had a three- game winning streak broken in Tuesday's 6-2 loss. Cabrera has four homers in his last four games and 30 this year. It's the sixth time in his career he has hit 30 homers in a season.
Bonderman surrendered six hits and seven runs -- six earned -- over five frames to lose his third straight start. He fell to 3-9 lifetime against the Yankees.
"It's not good, it seems to be the way it's going for me lately," Bonderman said.
The game got a bit testy late when Cabrera was hit by a pitch from Chad Gaudin in the eighth inning. A pitch from Enrique Gonzalez then sailed behind Derek Jeter in the bottom of the inning.
All that occurred after Brett Gardner was hit by the first pitch of the game which led to both benches being warned. There may have been some lingering bad blood after Gardner slid hard into second base on Monday to break up a double play, injuring the knee of second baseman Carlos Guillen, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday.
"Luckily I didn't get hit tonight," Teixeira said. "If you are part of it, if you are one of those who are getting plunked it's not fun. I've never been big on beanball wars. It's not baseball. Hopefully there won't be any more of that."
Detroit has won four of its seven meetings with the Yankees this season.