That was the story of tonight's 5-3 loss -- the Yankees stranding 13 and going 3-for-14 with RISP and Phil Hughes allowing all four of his runs with two outs.

Hughes (5-1, 2.72) had two outs and none on base in both the first and third innings — and wound up giving up a total of three runs.

"You get off to a good start in the inning and then you can’t seem to close it out is definitely frustrating,” Hughes said.

Hughes hasn't been pleased with either of his last two starts.

"I just need to do better,” Hughes said. “These last couple outings I haven’t been good, especially with my command. It’s something that I need to work on and hopefully can turn around.”

advertisement | advertise on newsday

As for what's going on offensively, the Yankees haven't been doing well there, either.

"There’s no doubt that we’re struggling in some of these situations but it’s a long year and I believe more times than not they’re going to come through," Joe Girardi said. "But right now we’re struggling in those situations."

Especially Mark Teixeira, now in a 1-for-23 skid after going 0-for-4 tonight.

"It just seems like he’s having a hard time staying back right now," Girardi said. "He’s out in front of some. He’s swinging and missing some so it looks like he’s not picking up the ball at times. He’s just struggling a little bit. It’s baseball. You’re going to go through that as hitters and that’s the reality of it."

The series wraps up tomorrow night as CC Sabathia (4-2, 3.43) takes on Johan Santana (3-2, 3.72).