Ever since, he’s been a different pitcher.
“I think he’s learned that two starts doesn’t make a season,” manager Joe Girardi said after Hughes threw seven innings of one-run ball to earn his 13th victory of the year in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. “You’ve just got to get back on track.”
Hughes has. In his last three outings, he’s given up just three earned runs (21 innings). On Tuesday night, he allowed a season-low tying four hits. Hughes is undefeated in his last seven starts at home -- 6-0 since June 26.
“I had a couple rough ones before that, and fortunately I’ve had a few good ones,” said Hughes, who is 13-11 in 2012. “Hopefully we keep that rolling.”
Hughes, who walked one and struck out five, said he utilized a cutter/slider hybrid pitch effectively against right-handed hitters. His lone mistake of the evening was Adeiny Hechavarria’s first-career MLB homer with two out in the fifth.
“He did a really good job of mixing all his pitches tonight,” Girardi said.
Hughes also got a little help from his defense. With one out, the Yankees up 2-1 and runners on the corners in the sixth, Robinson Cano made a leaping grab and doubled up the tying run at third.
“It’s an incredible play,” Girardi said. “I thought he had no chance at the double-play. I wasn’t even sure he was gonna catch it to begin with.”
The Yankees had lost Monday night’s game in stunning fashion, but Hughes’ stellar performance made up for the fact that their Triple-A looking lineup only scored twice on Tuesday night.
“I try to treat every game the same and do the best I can and not worry about the circumstances,” Hughes said.
• Since being moved to the second position in the batting order on Aug. 8, Nick Swisher is hitting .341 with six homers, 21 RBIs and 16 runs scored.
• Pedro Feliciano continued his rehab assignment at Double-A Trenton, pitching on back-to-back days for the first time. He threw a third of a frame and walked one.
• Yankees starters are 9-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 13 home starts in August.
• The Yankees have been in first place for 77 consecutive days, matching their longest streak since 2009.