Phil Hughes had one bad inning in which he made one bad throw and one bad pitch.
Otherwise, he was really good.
Hughes earned his 12th victory of the season -- tying CC Sabathia for the team lead -- on Friday night, pitching seven innings of four-run (none earned) ball to help lead the Yankees to a 6-4 win over the rival Red Sox.
“They probably should’ve had one run, that was it,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought he really pitched tonight.”
The 25-year-old right-hander gave up four runs in the third -- all his doing -- but recovered to retire 13 of the final 15 batters he faced.
Hughes (12-10) retired six in a row to open his outing before running into trouble in the third. After Mike Aviles led off the frame with a single, Hughes threw what should’ve been a 1-6-3 double-play grounder off the bat of Scott Podsednik into center field. An RBI fielder’s choice, walk and three-run homer by Dustin Pedroia later, the Red Sox had a 4-3 lead.
“I knew (Aviles) was running on the pitch and I knew Podsednik is quick, so I just wanted to get the double play,” Hughes said. “I brought it out of my glove, but couldn’t get a good grip on it, and instead of doing the smart thing and getting the out at first, I flung it into center field.”
Hughes utilized his changeup a lot more than he usually does on Friday night, especially against righties. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out four.
Hughes, who has given up 18 homers at Yankee Stadium this season, had surrendered 11 earned runs in his past two starts (8 1/3 innings), so Friday night’s outing marked a significant improvement.
“It’s good to bounce back,” he said.
• The Yankees have won eight of their past 10 games, are 4-1 on their current seven-game homestand and have matched a season high at 23 games over .500 (71-48). ... The Yankees tied their season high by hitting five homers (Apr. 20 at Fenway Park). They lead the majors with 186 homers in 2012. ... Curtis Granderson went 2-for-4 and added his 10th homer off a left-handed pitcher this season. He also snapped an 0-for-10 skid. ... Rafael Soriano became the seventh Yankee since the rule was invented in 1969 to record 30 saves in a season.