CHICAGO -- Your move, Ivan.
On the eve of a start that had become a referendum on Phil Hughes' future in this year's rotation, the righthander said his banishment to the bullpen would be a "disappointment."
Tuesday night, he pitched like he plans to stick.
A thunderstorm rolled into the area with the White Sox about to bat in the seventh and the game was called less than an hour later.
"It didn't really come into my mind, everything that was going on," said Hughes, who came in 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA since coming off the disabled list July 5. "It was more of a personal thing for me. I wanted to pitch well and I knew I could do better than what I'd been showing. I wanted to satisfy myself before everybody else and I'm pretty satisfied with this one."
With Nova pitching Thursday night, Girardi left open the possibility of going with a six-man rotation a second time, though that's unlikely. Asked directly if Hughes would take his next turn, Girardi said: "Yeah, we have to talk about this. Maybe we stay with a six-man rotation through another time. I don't know what we're going to do at this moment but I'm happy with what I saw tonight and I really liked it."
Mark Teixeira set a major-league record in the Yankees' fifth straight victory, homering from both sides of the plate for the 12th time in his career. He had been tied at 11 with Chili Davis and Eddie Murray, who is part of the reason Teixeira, a Baltimore native, became a switch hitter.
"That record's pretty special," said Teixeira, who has a team-best 31 home runs. "There's a lot of failure in this game, there's no doubt. If you can put your name in the record books for something like this . . . being a switch hitter, it's very tough. This was a nice night for me."
But the night was mostly about Hughes trying to hold on to his rotation spot and how he would respond to the pressure Girardi didn't try to hide was on Hughes. If the 25-year-old felt it, as well as Nova, so be it.
"When you play at this level, you're used to pitching under pressure and how important your performance is," Girardi said before the game. "Is [this] a little different? A little but not a lot. Phil's pitched in playoff games and understands the pressure of each pitch. So they have to figure out how not to get caught up in it because there's always going to be competition and you want that competition to bring out the best in everyone."
Hughes shut out the White Sox over six innings, striking out four, walking none and throwing just 65 pitches. He did not allow a runner to reach second.
As significant, his fastball averaged a tick more than 92 mph, topping out at 95. He did not reach 95 after the first inning but stayed steady in the 92-94 range.
"Obviously, this year hasn't gone the way I would have liked," Hughes said. "I tried to just get back to basics and do what I do well. Just be aggressive with my fastball. Once I saw some 94s and 95s in the first inning, I just said, all right, here it is. I was aggressive throwing strikes. It's a good feeling to have an outing like this."
The righthander had to warm up twice -- his regular time before the game and again toward the end of a 45-minute weather delay that contained no weather that would have caused a delay.
When he finally came out, he did so with a 1-0 lead, the result of Robinson Cano's RBI double that brought in Derek Jeter, who led off against John Danks with a single. Danks came in with a 0.98 ERA in his previous six starts but allowed four runs in six innings.
His eighth pitch of the night hit 95 mph to put Carlos Quentin in an 0-and-2 hole and, after a ball, Hughes struck out the designated hitter looking at a 95-mph fastball.
Hughes took the mound with a 2-0 lead in the second, thanks to Russell Martin's 11th home run in the top of the inning, and allowed Adam Dunn to reach with a single. Dunn swung at Hughes' second pitch, an 87-mph cutter, and sent a grounder through the hole into right for a hit.
Hughes shrugged it off, retiring the next three hitters and needing just seven pitches to do so. Alexei Ramirez flew to right, A.J. Pierzynski struck out swinging at a darting 82-mph breaking pitch, and Alex Rios grounded to second.
Hughes received even more run support in the third. Jeter ripped a double to left-center and went to third on Curtis Granderson's groundout. Teixeira battled Danks for 10 pitches, hitting the final one into the White Sox bullpen in left for a two-run shot to make it 4-0.
Teixeira's homer and Andruw Jones' run-scoring single in the seventh made it 6-0.
"He was awesome," Teixeira said. "You could tell from the first inning that he had his stuff. He had his fastball, he was locating. He pitched great."