NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The wait is over. Phil Hughes won consecutive starts for the first time this season.
“He did a good job,” manager Joe Girardi said of Hughes. “We’re going to need innings out of our rotation.”
Raul Ibanez homered against his former team for the second day in a row and the Yankees beat former New York prospect Hector Noesi in a 6-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.
Jayson Nix hit a two-run shot during a four-run second inning for his first homer with the Yankees, who have won six of eight.
Hughes who improves to 3-4, allowed six hits and a run in 7 2-3 innings with four strikeouts and a walk. The right-hander’s only blemish was the homer he surrendered to Mike Carp in the seventh inning.
“It’s been a process overall to get myself right,” Hughes said. “As far as a turning point, it’s hard to get worse than the beginning of the year.”
Boone Logan came in and struck out Ichiro Suzuki with two runners on to end the eighth after allowing a fly ball to Carp that went off the top of the fence in right field. Video review overturned the original call of a home run, leaving Carp with a RBI double.
Logan struck out Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders for his second career save and first since April 2006 — which came at Seattle when he was with the Chicago White Sox.
Ibanez homered in the fourth inning to make it 5-0 after the Yankees scored all four runs in the second with two outs. Nix’s homer followed RBI doubles by Russell Martin and Ibanez.
On Friday night, Jesus Montero put the Mariners ahead 2-1 in the top of the sixth before Ibanez answered in the bottom half with a three-run shot of his own to prevent the Yankees’ recent trade with Seattle from haunting them — at least for a game.
Noesi’s record falls to 2-4. He was traded to Seattle in January along with Montero for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. Pineda has since been lost for the season due to injury.
Noesi lasted seven innings, allowing five runs and six hits. He struck out four without a walk, but the second inning was enough to cost him, though he allowed just two hits in his last five innings.
Hughes solidified his spot in the rotation a day before Andy Pettitte was set to make his season debut, returning to the Yankees for his first start since the 2010 ALCS. The left-hander came out of retirement halfway through March and has been at extended spring training and in the minors, where he made his last start on Sunday.
Manager Joe Girardi said he hopes to get 100 pitches out of Pettitte, who will become the second-winningest active pitcher in the majors with 240 victories when he joins the 25-man roster. He’ll face the pitcher who is ninth among current big leaguers, Seattle righty Kevin Millwood (163).
Before this homestand, the Yankees dropped four of five, and the starter took the loss each time. Pettitte’s every minor league start was tracked. Since then, Yankees starters have won four of their last five, and David Phelps left one out short of his first big league win on Wednesday night.
Now it’s Pettitte’s turn to step back in, and suddenly it’s a much more stable situation.
“That’ll be nice if we can keep this going,” Hughes said.
NOTES: Derek Jeter had two hits, tying Tony Gwynn for 17th on the career list with 3,141, one behind Robin Yount. … Suzuki got a hit to tie Frank Thomas for 99th on the career hits list with 2,468. … The Yankees celebrated the 87th birthday of Hall of Famer Yogi Berra with a pregame ceremony featuring a pinstriped cake at home plate while the crowd sang to him.
Nix started the day after New York sent INF Eduardo Nunez down to the minors, his first appearance there with New York. He last played the position May 2, 2010 — at Yankee Stadium for the White Sox — entering as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning. … The Mariners played the second game of a 10-game road trip to four cities. When they return to Seattle on May 21, they will have played 28 road games (including the first two in Japan) and 15 at home. … Hughes has allowed at least one HR in all seven starts this season. The only other Yankees pitcher to do that was Tim Leary in 1990.
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