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Hughes: “Just trying to help us out”

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Phil Hughes [2]

There was no foolproof option when choosing tonight’s Yankees starter. David Huff was knocked around in his spot start over the weekend, Adam Warren’s started only one game all year, Brett Marshall is coming off a pretty disappointing season in Triple-A, and Phil Hughes lost his rotation spot just last week. But someone has to start, and the Yankees decided to give Hughes another chance.

“We just have to win games,” Hughes said. “There’s no underlying stories there, just trying to help us out, throw the ball as well as I can and do the best job that I can. I’m excited for that. Not really worried about redemption or proving anybody wrong or stuff like that. I’m just trying to throw as many quality innings as I can.”

Hughes hasn’t faced the Orioles since May 21, but on that day [3] he allowed two runs through six innings right here at Camden Yards, and the Yankees could really use an outing like that again tonight.

“I sure hope so,” Joe Girardi said. “We need him to go out there and give us some innings.”

Hughes said he started to get loose on Monday, but that’s the last time he threw off a mound. His one relief outing didn’t go so well, and clearly he’d like to move on from a pretty bad past two months or so. It’s been a while since Hughes was on his normal routine, and the Yankees might know pretty early whether this particular gamble will pay off. If it doesn’t, I have to think Girardi’s will have a a pretty short leash.

“I hope I’m fresh,” Hughes said. “Command, I think, will be the issue (to watch). But as long as I’m throwing strikes early, I’ll be fine.”

Associated Press photo