With so much doubt and pessimism surrounding Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes entering his start against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, things seemed to go from bad to worse rather quickly.
An error from Eduardo Nunez led to a four-run first inning for the Twins – all unearned – but Hughes settled down, and Curtis Granderson became the first player ever to hit three home runs in a game at the new Yankees Stadium to lead the Yankees to a 7-6 win.
Granderson added his third home run of the game in the fourth to extend the lead to 7-4, becoming the first Yankee since A-Rod on August 14, 2010 to hit three in a game. It was the 28th time a Yankee had accomplished the feat, and first time it had ever been done in the new Yankee Stadium by anyone. Yankees fans showered him with cheers as he came out for the curtain call.
Meanwhile, Hughes averted a complete disaster by allowing only two men to reach base from the second inning through the fifth. While at first it looked like he might be headed for an early exit and more scrutiny, the 25-year-old made it through 5 1/3 innings to earn his first win of the season. He allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out four. Doumit hit a two-run homer off of Hughes in the sixth, which made it 7-6.
Associated Press photo