Homers by Teixeira, Granderson back Hughes in Yankees' 4-2 win
Rotation troubles? What rotation troubles?
It has been a June surge rather than a swoon for the Yankees' rotation, and the trend continued Saturday night with Phil Hughes in a 4-2 victory over the Mets in front of a sellout crowd of 48,575 at the Stadium.
"I love pitching. Pitching gives you a chance to win every day,'' Joe Girardi said. "It's fun to score runs when you need to score runs, but you know that if your pitchers do their job, you have a really good chance to win every day.''
The Mets (32-28), who have allowed six home runs that produced nine runs in the first two games of this series, dropped to 4-5 in their stretch of 22 straight games against teams with a .500 record or better.
"This is a game we had a chance to win,'' Terry Collins said. "You've got to be able to keep the ball in the ballpark, and we haven't been able to do that in two nights.''
The Yankees' rotation, which had a 5.80 ERA in April and a 4.15 ERA in May, improved to 6-1 with a 1.84 ERA in eight starts since June 1.
"They've been the key for us,'' said Mark Teixeira, whose two-run homer off Mets starter Dillon Gee in the sixth gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. "If we don't have the starting pitching that we've had step up for us, we might not be in as good a spot right now. Starting pitching is the key to baseball, and Phil just kept a long line of great starts going tonight.''
Gee (4-4) -- who was 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his previous three starts -- wasn't bad at all, allowing three runs and five hits in seven innings. But he couldn't hold the 2-1 lead he took into the bottom of the sixth as Teixeira slammed his 11th homer of the season.
Boone Logan, Cory Wade and Clay Rapada provided a sturdy bridge to Rafael Soriano, who is 9-for-9 in save chances after pitching a scoreless, though not drama-free, ninth. The closer walked Ike Davis and allowed a two-out single to Quintanilla that put runners at the corners, but pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin flied out to left to end it.
"We are having a tough [time], I think, getting on base and sustaining some rhythm offensively,'' Wright said. (Except for Wright, of course, who is hitting .355 with eight homers and 34 RBIs.)
The one down note for Hughes, who was coming off a four-hitter last Sunday in Detroit, was that he extended his streak of allowing at least one home run per start this season to 12 straight.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the first inning but missed an opportunity for a bigger inning.
Derek Jeter led off with a single, breaking an 0-for-17 skid, and advanced to second on Gee's balk. Granderson lined out to first but Alex Rodriguez singled to center to drive in Jeter, who scored his 1,800th career run, sending him past Ted Williams into sole possession of 17th on the all-time list.
It was the 1,917th RBI of A-Rod's career, tying him with Eddie Murray for seventh on the all-time list.
Quintanilla hammered Hughes' 2-and-2 pitch into the seats in right for his first homer of the season and Wright's blast in the top of the sixth gave the Mets a 2-1 lead, one that didn't last through the bottom half of the inning.
The night, however, was about the Yankees' solid pitching, which has been the case this month for them.
"You get consistency out of all five of your starters,'' Girardi said before pausing. "They're going to have a hiccup every once in a while, but when you do that, you're able to put good streaks together.''
With Roderick Boone