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Hughes: 'I just want to have a good start'

Yankees starter Phil Hughes throws against the Red

Yankees starter Phil Hughes throws against the Red Sox in the first inning on Opening Day at Fenway Park. (Apr. 8, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

TORONTO -- This could be the day Phil Hughes gets his first victory of the season.

But the righthander, set to make his second start since coming off the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, said he's more focused on making a quality start than earning a "W."

"You always want to get that one," he said before reminding reporters that he went winless in eight starts in 2008. "But hopefully, there's a lot more after that. That's just the kind of stuff I can't control. I just want to have a good start."

Hughes, 25, held Cleveland to two runs and five hits in five innings in his last start, a 5-3 loss July 6. He threw 57 of his 87 pitches for strikes. He tweaked his mechanics during his last four bullpen sessions and improved his curveball so it's "sharper and there's more velocity to it," according to Joe Girardi.

"I know my stuff is there, so I don't have to think about that anymore," said the pitcher, who struggled with velocity before his DL stint. "Just have to go out and work on executing every pitch and not trying to grind it in there hoping to satisfy people looking at the radar gun."


Tex searching for answers

As far as home runs and RBIs are concerned, Mark Teixeira is getting the job done. But his average is a disappointing .240.

"It has been one of the most satisfying and frustrating years for me," said Teixeira, who has 25 homers and 66 RBIs. "I'm just hoping for those extra hits to come and they haven't so far."

Teixeira said fatigue was a factor, but the three days off have helped. "Now, it is a matter of getting my timing back," he said.


Extra bases

Rafael Soriano is to pitch in a minor-league game Tuesday in Tampa . . . Curtis Granderson was the DH and Russell Martin was given the day off.

New York Sports