Injury costs Yanks' Hughes shot at history

Associated Press • May 2, 2007 at 7:24 AM

ARLINGTON, Texas - Phil Hughes was working on a no-hitter in the seventh inning of his second major league start when an injury cost him a chance to make history.

That was the only bit of bad news for the New York Yankees, who responded to George Steinbrenner's statement in a big way Tuesday night with a 10-1 rout of the Texas Rangers.

Hank Blalock hit a leadoff double against reliever Mike Myers in the eighth inning for Texas' first hit, not long after Hughes (1-1) left with an apparent leg injury and became the latest New York pitcher to go down.

The 20-year-old right-hander, considered one of the top prospects in baseball, was cruising along in a dominant performance when he winced and grabbed the back of his left thigh after throwing an 0-2 breaking ball to Mark Teixeira with one out in the seventh. It was Hughes' 83rd pitch.

"He said he felt a pop," catcher Jorge Posada said.

Yankees manager Joe Torre, pitching coach Ron Guidry and a trainer came out to the mound to check on Hughes, who was removed from the game and walked gingerly back to the dugout, where he received a warm reception from teammates.

Hughes walked three and struck out six. He left with a 9-0 lead.

Hughes was called up from Triple-A Scranton to fill a spot in New York's injury-depleted rotation. Mike Mussina (hamstring), Carl Pavano (forearm) and Jeff Karstens (broken right leg) are on the disabled list. Chien-Ming Wang also missed the first three weeks of the season with a hamstring injury.

Ian Kinsler followed Blalock's double with an RBI single. Myers finished the eighth and Luis Vizcaino worked the ninth to complete the two-hitter.

New York's dismal first month - which ended with a 9-14 record and 6½-game deficit to first-place Boston in the AL East - roused Steinbrenner to issue his first public remarks of the season, at once throwing his support behind Torre and rebuking the team for its record.

Steinbrenner's vote of confidence in Torre and general manager Brian Cashman silenced, at least temporarily, speculation that their jobs were in jeopardy. But the notoriously demanding owner also termed the start by his $195 million team "clearly not acceptable."

But against the Rangers, Steinbrenner's comments seemed to cajole the Yankees to their most lopsided win of the season.

Robinson Cano broke out of a 1-for-18 slump by going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two doubles. Posada had three hits, three runs and two RBIs. Alex Rodriguez added three hits to raise his batting average to .371.

The Yankees roughed up Kameron Loe (1-2) and took advantage of three Texas errors.

CLEVELAND - Rocked for three homers in the first inning, C.C. Sabathia buckled down to stay unbeaten and Jhonny Peralta had a career-high five RBIs as Cleveland beat Toronto.

After enduring a season-opening month of snow, postponements and travel, Cleveland began May with a comeback victory, scoring nine consecutive runs to win for the eighth time in nine games.

Sabathia (4-0) found himself down 3-0 five batters into the game. But the left-hander settled in and held the Blue Jays to one hit over the next five innings, retiring 16 of the final 17. He walked none and struck out nine in six innings.

Peralta hit a two-run double in the third and three-run homer in the fifth off A.J. Burnett (2-2).

Travis Hafner added a two-run homer and Trot Nixon a three-run shot for the Indians.

BOSTON - Dan Johnson doubled home the winning run in the 10th inning after Jonathan Papelbon had his first blown save opportunity of the season and Oakland stopped surging Boston.

The Red Sox had won four of five games and began the day with the best record in baseball but wasted a 4-2 lead and another strong performance by Curt Schilling.

Papelbon allowed a tying two-run homer by Travis Buck in the ninth.

Oakland scored the winning run off Brendan Donnelly (0-1) on back-to-back doubles by Mike Piazza and Johnson. Justin Duchscherer (2-1) pitched the ninth and Huston Street worked the 10th for his seventh save.

DETROIT - Pinch-hitter Sean Casey hit a tiebreaking single with one out in the eighth inning to lift the Detroit.

Craig Monroe also homered for Detroit and Placido Polanco 4-for-5 with two RBIs. The Tigers rallied for two runs in the eighth against Danys Baez (0-1).

Reliever Joel Zumaya (1-1) pitched two innings for the victory. He struck out four and allowed one hit. Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Sidney Ponson pitched seven impressive innings and Michael Cuddyer drove in two runs for Minnesota before leaving with an injury.

Ponson (2-3) gave up five hits. Both of his wins this season have come against the Devil Rays.

The top of the sixth ended on a strange play when Cuddyer lost his balance rounding second base on Justin Morneau's two-out single and did a forward roll before being tagged out by third baseman Ty Wigginton. Cuddyer left one inning later with a bruised back.

Minnesota's Torii Hunter doubled in the seventh, extending his career-high hitting streak to 16 games.

Rays starter Edwin Jackson (0-4) allowed six runs - four earned - and five hits in 1 1-3 innings.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Vladimir Guerrero hit a first-inning grand slam and surging Los Angeles held on to beat reeling Kansas for the Angeles' 10th victory in 12 games.

The first three Angels hitters singled on Zack Greinke's first seven pitches to load the bases. Greinke quickly went to 3-0 on Guerrero. Then after a called strike, the seven-time All-Star hit the next pitch sailing 435 feet over the fence in left-center for his fifth grand slam.

Bartolo Colon (3-0) gave up nine hits and five runs in five innings increasing his ERA went from 1.93 to 3.79. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

Gary Matthews Jr. was 4-for-5 and scored three runs for the Angels, who have won 15 of their past 17 at Kauffman Stadium.

Greinke (1-3) gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings for the Royals, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.

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