Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, A's 2

What it means: A day after being shut out, the Yankees got revenge, defeating the Oakland A's 4-2 on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

Phil Hughes had his best outing of the season by far (see below). The Yanks didn't have a huge day at the plate, but they did more than enough.

New York improves to 18-11 on the season -- two games behind first-place Boston in the American League East. Oakland falls to 17-14 -- two games behind first-place Texas in the AL West.

On the mound: Hughes, winless in five starts in April, picked up his first win since Sept. 20, 2012. He was 0-2 with a 4.67 ERA coming into the game but had pitched better of late, giving up just two runs in each of his previous three starts.

On Saturday, he was simply outstanding -- throwing 118 pitches over eight shutout innings while giving up just four hits, with nine strikeouts and two walks. Only one of the four hits went for extra bases, a double. The A's never put on a runner on third base against him.

Hughes was pumping his fastball into hitters at 93 mph consistently, even in the later innings, and hit 94 and 95 on occasion. And several of his K's came via his slider.

Shawn Kelley came on in the ninth, gave up a leadoff single to Yoenis Cespedes and was promptly lifted for closer Mariano Rivera, even though it was a nonsave situation. Rivera gave up a walk and a single, allowing Cespedes to score. The A's scored a second run on a fielder's choice. But Rivera retired Adam Rosales on a fly ball to right field to end the game.

At the plate: The Yankees had only eight hits, but two of them left the ballpark. Chris Stewart led off the bottom of the third inning with a line drive that landed in the left-field seats, his second of the season. Lyle Overbay led off the bottom of the fifth by depositing a ball in the second deck in right, his fifth on the year. Overbay also hit a double in the second inning and was the only Yankee with multiple hits on the day.

The Yanks' third and final run off Oakland starter Bartolo Colon came in the sixth. Robinson Cano led off with a double and came around to score on a Travis Hafner single.

They tacked on one more run in the seventh off reliever Chris Resop. Eduardo Nunez hit a one-out triple and scored on a Brett Gardner single.

Tough start: Chris Nelson went 0-for-4 in his Yankees debut, striking out twice.

Historical note: The double by Cano was the 344th of his career, tying him with Mickey Mantle for eighth place in franchise history.

What's next: The series finale and the end of this 10-game homestand in the Bronx. Andy Pettitte (3-2, 3.86 ERA) will throw for the Yankees, opposed by Dan Straily (1-0, 6.35). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.