Morning links: “Just live with them”
The Yankees’ American League East lead remains at 1 1/2 games over the Orioles following last night’s difficult defeat at Target Field, as Boone Logan blew the lead after Joe Girardi pulled Phil Hughes in the seventh inning, allowing the Twins to rally for four runs and a 5-4 victory.
Girardi made the call to pull Hughes with two outs in the seventh, believing that Hughes was showing signs of fatigue and, eyeing a lefty-lefty matchup, wanting Logan to inherit a bases-loaded situation. Logan threw a wild pitch and surrendered a two-run double to Denard Span as Hughes was forced to watch from the bench, visibly frustrated with the sequence of events.
“Any time, you want to finish an inning,” Hughes said. “Especially when you get the little momentum of striking a guy out. You want to get the next guy. But you don’t worry about those decisions. Just live with them.”
Girardi explained: “It had been a struggle so far in that inning [for Hughes]. He had a walk, a 3-2 count, a long at-bat. Booney had had a ton of success against Span. It didn’t work.”
The loss cost the Yankees a chance to move 2 1/2 games up on the Orioles, who lost their second straight to the Blue Jays. New York’s magic number to clinch the division is seven, and the magic number to reach the playoffs is four.
Alex Rodriguez fouled a ball off his left foot in his final at-bat of the game, but Rodriguez said that he “should be OK” to play in today’s matinee, according to the New York Daily News.
It sets up another big start today for CC Sabathia (13-6, 3.47), who is coming off an 11-strikeout, eight inning performance against the Athletics in his last outing — one of his best of the season. The Twins counter with right-hander Samuel Deduno (6-5, 4.54 ERA), who is making his first career appearance against the Yankees.