After pitching so well of late, Phil Hughes was awful in the 94-degree heat at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, allowing a career-high four homers to Atlanta in 4 1/3 innings. He has now given up a major-league high 19 gopher balls on the year.
It started early for Hughes and never ended until Joe Girardi finally, mercifully, removed him with one out in the fifth.
In the first, Freddie Freeman hit a two-run blow. In the third, Martin Prado nailed a solo shot. In the fourth, Jason Heyward slammed a solo shot and, leading off the fifth, No. 9 batter David Ross smashed a solo job. Hughes left with the Yankees trailing 6-1.
Entering Wednesday, Yankees starter had a 19-game streak of working at least six innings.
Hughes had been pitching very well. Over his previous eight starts, he was 6-1 with a 3.27 ERA. He had lowered his ERA from 7.48 to 4.50. After Wednesday's meltdown, he is at 4.94.
By the way, how bad is giving up four homers in one game? A.J. Burnett never even did it as a Yankee.