A long, dreary April day that began with news of Derek Jeter suffering a setback with a new injury to his mending left ankle ended with a four-run rally by Arizona in the 12th inning that gave the Diamondbacks a 6-2 victory over the Yankees Thursday night at the Stadium.
Yankees reliever David Phelps gave up a leadoff double to Gerardo Parra in the 12th, then loaded the bases with one out on Francisco Cervelli's second catcher's interference in four innings and a hit batsman. Cody Ross singled to push across the go-ahead run and former Yankee Eric Chavez doubled off the wall in centerfield to drive in three more. Arizona reliever Tony Sipp finished the job with a hitless 12th.
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It was Cervelli who sent the game to extra innings with a one-out homer to leftfield in the ninth inning against Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz, but in the end, he contributed to the loss with his gaffe behind the plate.
"They were late on the swing, and I was too close," Cervelli said of the two catcher's interference calls, including one in the ninth that also helped load the bases for Arizona. "It's not an excuse. It's my fault . . . The homer right now doesn't mean anything because we lost. I don't care if I hit three home runs."
Asked if the catcher's interference was unnerving, Phelps said, "It it is what it is. I've got to make better pitches with men on base, especially in an extra-inning game."
Arizona starter Patrick Corbin stymied the Yankees on two hits through seven complete innings, with the only run coming on Robinson Cano's two-out homer into the Yankees' bullpen in the sixth inning. Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but escaped with strikeouts of Cano and Kevin Youkilis.
Yankees starter Phil Hughes came into the game with an 0-2 record and a miserable 10.29 ERA after taking an early shower in his first two April starts. But Hughes turned in a solid seven-inning outing in which he allowed two runs and six hits, striking out six.
His only two mistakes were solo home runs by Didi Gregorius on the first pitch of the third and Martin Prado on the third pitch of the sixth. Gregorius, 23, hit his first major-league homer in his first start with Arizona.
After Prado's homer, Hughes retired the next six batters to complete seven innings. He ended with his sixth strikeout, getting Gregorius on a 93-mph fastball on his 109th pitch.
"In my past starts, I've lost a little bit once my pitch count gets up,'' Hughes said, "so it was nice to maintain it for 100-plus pitches and for Joe [Girardi] to have the faith in me to go after a guy who got me twice before instead of going to Logan when he could have in a lefty-lefty situation. It was nice to finish that inning."
Hughes, who allowed 35 home runs (tied for second-most in the majors) in 1911/3 innings in 2012, has given up five homers in 14 innings this season.
Hernandez pulled off a miracle escape in the eighth when he struck out Cano and Youkilis with the bases loaded to preserve a 2-1 lead. Cano was hit on the back foot by a sharp breaking ball on 1-and-2, which would have forced home the tying run, but he couldn't check his swing, and the swing superseded the hit batsman.
Joba Chamberlain pitched out of a second-and-third, none-out jam in the top of the ninth before Cervelli's homer.