Facing Angels, Phil Hughes Struggles In First Start After Break, Loses, 10-2

Mike Napoli, Maicer Izturis and former Yankee Hideki Matsui each hit a two-run homer to lead the Angels to a 10-2 win over New York at Yankee Stadium. Read more at Halos Heaven and Pinstripe Alley.

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Napoli, Izturis Homer Off Hughes As Angels Rock All-Star Righty In 10-2 Victory

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Mike Napoli, Maicer Izturis and former Yankee Hideki Matsui each hit a two-run homer to lead the Angels to a 10-2 win over New York at Yankee Stadium.

Napoli finished with four RBI for the Angels, who captured the opener of this brief two-game set and have won four of their last five games overall.

Sean O'Sullivan was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake late Monday and pitched six strong innings. O'Sullivan (1-0) replaced Scott Kazmir, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left shoulder, and allowed two runs on two hits with four strikeouts to earn the win.

Phil Hughes (11-3) suffered the loss after he yielded six runs on nine hits in five-plus innings for the Yankees, who lost for only the fourth time in the month of July (11-4).

Nick Swisher hit his 17th home run of the season in the losing effort.

The Yankees grabbed an early lead with a pair of runs in the first inning. After Swisher's one-out solo homer, Mark Teixeira drew a walk and moved to third on a double by Alex Rodriguez. Robinson Cano then walked to load the bases and a groundout to the right side of the infield by Jorge Posada allowed Teixeira to cross the plate.

An RBI single by Izturis in the top of the second cut the Angels' deficit in half, and another RBI base hit -- this one off the bat off Torii Hunter -- in the third knotted the score.

In the top of the fourth, Juan Rivera laced a one-out single before Izturis stepped to the plate and belted his third home run of the season over the wall in right field.

In the sixth, Napoli turned on a Hughes fastball and blasted it over the right-field wall. The two-run shot also scored Matsui, who led off the frame with a walk.

New York manager Joe Girardi was ejected in the bottom of the sixth because he argued with umpires after Teixeira was called out on a close play at first base.

The Angels gained a bit of insurance in the seventh. Hunter drew a two-out walk and Chan Ho Park entered from the New York bullpen. Matsui greeted him with a home run to right field for an 8-2 advantage.

Los Angeles reliever Scot Shields worked around a first-and-third situation by inducing an inning-ending groundout off the bat of Brett Gardner in the seventh and Francisco Rodriguez did the same in the eighth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Rodriguez got Cano to fly out to left field.

A two-run single by Napoli in the top of the ninth capped the scoring.

Hughes is now 3-1 lifetime against the Angels (four starts)...The Angels outhit the Yanks, 14-6...New York was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position...Swisher now has 54 RBI in 2010...Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu was thrown out twice trying to steal by Posada.

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Facing Angels, Phil Hughes Looks To Maintain Pre-Break Pace

(Sports Network) - Phil Hughes takes aim at win No. 12 when the New York Yankees open a brief two-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this evening at Yankee Stadium.

Hughes, the loser in last Tuesday's All-Star Game, won six of his final seven decisions before the break, including an impressive victory over the Seattle Mariners in his last start on July 9. Hughes gave up a run and six hits in seven innings of that one and struck out five without walking a batter to improve to 11-2 while lowering his earned run average to 3.65.

"A lot of teams would take 11 wins from their fifth starter on the year...that's a big deal for half the year," Yankee manager Joe Girardi said of his young star.

Hughes beat the Angels earlier in the year and is 3-0 lifetime against them with a 4.70 ERA in five games (three starts).

The Yankees just took two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays in an emotional three-game set in the Bronx this past weekend, including a 9-5 win in Sunday's rubber match.

Alex Rodriguez clubbed a solo homer, the 598th of his career, and Derek Jeter had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run as the Yankees won for the 10th time in 12 games to improve their position in the AL East.

However, the news was not all good for the Yanks in that one, as starter Andy Pettitte was forced from the game with a groin injury and will miss at least the next 4-to-6 weeks.

"I really don't remember exactly what happened," said Pettitte of the injury. "I felt like I landed maybe a little awkward and I just felt like a burning sensation in [his groin]. As I stood there, I felt something kind of aching me a little bit. I tried to throw the warm-up pitch and felt fine when I threw it, but when I brought my left leg over it didn't feel good at all."

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will be starting a critical stretch tonight that will see them play six road games against the Yankees and AL West-leading Texas before heading home for six games against the Boston Red Sox and Rangers.

The Angels were denied a sweep in their four-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, falling 2-1 in 10 innings of the finale at Angel Stadium. Mike Napoli's solo homer was the lone run for the Angels, who wasted a superb outing from Ervin Santana.

Santana gave up a run in seven innings, but Kevin Jepsen (2-2) was charged with the loss.

"Sometimes you have to give the other guys credit," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Ervin (Santana) pitched a great game. We just didn't give him much run support."

Tonight the Angels had hoped to give the ball to lefty Scott Kazmir, but he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder fatigue. So the Angels are expected to hand the ball to righty Sean O'Sullivan, who has pitched to a 1.29 ERA in four relief appearances for the club this season.

These teams have split six meetings this season after going 5-5 against one another a year ago. Los Angeles, though, has lost seven of its last nine in the Bronx.

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