In a pitcher’s duel on a sunny afternoon in the Bronx, the New York Yankees took advantage of a few miscues by Bartolo Colon to earn Phil Hughes his first win of the season, and the Yankees starter threw a fantastic game in a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.
The Yankees got on the scoreboard in the third inning when Chris Stewart connected on a fastball from Colon that landed on the right side of the foul pole in the left field bleachers for a 1-0 New York lead.
Lyle Overbay added a solo shot of his own to lead off the fifth, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead after he crushed a fastball left over the plate to the second level in right field. Colon retired the side following the score, but New York would tag him for one more run in the sixth when Travis Hafner scored Robinson Cano from second on a single to left.
That would be it for Colon, as Jerry Blevins came in from the bullpen to finish the inning. Colon finished the day with six hits allowed, three strikeouts and no walks. The Yankees final run came on an RBI single from Brett Gardner that bounced off the glove of a diving Adam Rosales to score Eduardo Nunez, who had tripled earlier in the inning off of Chris Resop.
Colon was solid, but Hughes was absolutely dealing. The right-hander masterfully handled the Athletics, allowing only six baserunners in eight innings. Only two reached second base, as Oakland never really threatened to score in his time on the mound. The closest they’d come was in the very first at-bat of the game, when John Jaso nearly belted a home run over the right field wall, but Ichiro Suzuki timed it all the way and made the out.
Hughes’ nine strikeouts kept the A’s offense dormant, and they finally woke up in the bottom of the ninth, as Yoenis Cespedes singled to left and Brandon Moss drew a walk to put two baserunners on with no outs. Josh Donaldson grounded into a force out at second to advance Cespedes to third, and Seth Smith gave the team some hope when he singled to right field to put the A’s on the board. Josh Reddick hit a grounder to Nunez at shortstop and just beat out the turn from Cano to first to avoid a double play that would’ve ended the game, allowing Donaldson to score from third and make it 4-2, but Adam Rosales hit a pop fly to right field to for the final out of the game in the next at-bat.
The deciding game of the series will take place tomorrow at 10:00 PST, with Dan Straily going up against Andy Pettitte on the mound.