Pitcher Hughes helps Yankees to 5-1 win

Hughes recently gave up season-high seven runs in 5 1/3 innings

Published On: Jun 04 2012 06:24:57 PM EDT

The Yankees' first complete game of the season bested the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander, but it didn't come from ace pitcher CC Sabathia. Phil Hughes threw a four-hitter as the Yankees prevailed 5-1 at Comerica Park.

It was a great "bounce-back win," manager Joe Girardi said after Hughes gave up a season-high seven runs in 5 1/3 innings last Monday against the Angels in Anaheim. In that one, as in many of Hughes' starts, he was undone by mistakes over the plate and getting into hitter's counts. On Sunday he worked quickly and put out potential threats with ease. On five occasions, he allowed a two-out base runner only to retire the next hitter.

"I was able to put out any little fires that started (and) ultimately I was able to keep my pitch count down and get some quick outs," Hughes said. "It all kind of accumulates to be able to go out and do what CC does. That's a good feeling."

Derek Jeter hit the game's first pitch for a home run in a two-run Yankees first inning. Alex Rodriguez hit a mammoth 447-foot solo homer in the third. Robinson Cano had a run-scoring triple in a two-run fifth.

Hughes (5-5) allowed the four hits and three walks while striking out eight in the 123-pitch effort. He made one mistake, which Prince Fielder hit for a towering solo homer on the first pitch in the fourth -- "hanging curveball ... I put it on a tee for him," Hughes said -- but he had only one 20-pitch inning.

"I thought his stuff was probably as good as we've seen it all year long, and that's encouraging," Girardi said.

Hughes once pitched a rain-shortened six-inning complete game, but had never gone a full nine. After giving up a two-out Delmon Young single, Girardi visited him to say the next hitter would be his last. He struck out Brennan Boesch to end the game.