for this game

Burnett outduels phenom Hughes in Blue Jays victory

Apr 27, 2007 - 4:07 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Even the much-anticipated debut of Phillip Hughes could not revive the struggling New York Yankees.

Hughes was outpitched in his major league debut by A.J. Burnett as the Toronto Blue Jays sent the reeling Yankees to their sixth consecutive loss, 6-0.

On Wednesday, New York purchased the contract of Hughes, who is widely considered one of the elite pitching prospects in baseball, to help stabilize an ailing rotation. The 20-year-old righthander became the fifth rookie starter for the Yankees in 20 games this season - a distinction matched only by the 1998 Florida Marlins.

"Whether (it was) jitters or not, I made bad pitches and that's the bottom line," Hughes said. "It's my first game at Yankee Stadium so I'm going to be a little bit nervous. If I could do it over, maybe the results would be different."

The rookie phenom was no match for Burnett (2-1), who yielded just four singles and four walks in seven innings, matching his longest outing of the season. He struck out five and allowed just two runners past first base.

"It's obviously fun for (Hughes), being his first start and everything, but I try to block all that out and try not to watch the opposing guy too much and just concentrate on what I have to do," Burnett said.

Burnett retired eight of the first nine batters he faced and seven of the final eight, keeping baseball's most potent offense off-balance throughout. The Yankees were shut out for the first time this season after scoring at least four runs in each of their previous eight games.

"(Toronto's lineup) came out swinging and (gave us) the lead," Burnett said. "So I just tried to pound the zone the best I could and get ahead and put up as many zeros as I could."

Hughes (0-1) fell into an early 2-0 hole, allowing hits to three of the first four batters he faced. He bounced back to retire 11 of the next 13 before fading in the fifth, when he allowed three singles while recording just one out.

"It's something new for him so there is an adjustment period," New York manager Joe Torre said. "He's going to be a special kid. You've got to have the first one some time. He'll learn from today."

Hughes was charged with four runs and seven hits with one walk while striking out five. He threw 53 of 91 pitches for strikes - throwing no fewer than 13 pitches in any inning - and departed with runners on first and third base.

"I felt fine but I just wasn't making pitches and anytime you keep yourself behind in the count, it's not going to be good," Hughes said. "Stuff-wise, I felt fine, but the results were not so great."

"For being his first start with a lot of things going on, he did a good job," New York catcher Jorge Posada said. "I was very impressed. Even when he was down, he kept coming and those are the signs of a good pitcher."

Vernon Wells had an RBI double and scored in the first inning and chased Hughes with a run-scoring single. He had three hits, walked twice and added a stolen base for the Blue Jays, who have won three straight following a four-game slide.

"(Hughes) showed some of the electric stuff that he had but we just did enough to get a win," Wells said. "He handled himself pretty well. Our guys just did a good job of waiting him out and getting a pitch and not missing it. That's what you have to do with guys that type of stuff."

Frank Thomas also drove in a pair of runs and Alex Rios scored three times for Toronto.

Jason Giambi had a pair of hits as New York played without star shortstop Derek Jeter, who sat out with a bruised left thigh after he was hit by a pitch in Tuesday's loss at Tampa Bay.

"There is no panic and I don't think there is going to be panic anytime soon," Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon said. "But if we can't start getting victories, I'm sure there is not going to be too many happy people."

Rios singled off Hughes' second pitch to start the game and scored on Wells' double to left-center field with out. Thomas poked a single to right field to plate Wells but Hughes allowed just two more runners until the fifth.

John McDonald started the frame with a single and stole second before scoring on a base hit by Rios. Hughes struck out Adam Lind for the third time but Wells hit a line drive single to put runners at the corners.

Brian Bruney entered and yielded a sacrifice fly to Thomas before escaping further damage. But the struggling New York bullpen yielded two more runs in the seventh as Scott Proctor uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded and Lyle Overbay followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 6 8 0
    NY YANKEES 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - A.J. BURNETT, JEREMY ACCARDO (8TH), SCOTT DOWNS (9TH) AND
    JASON PHILLIPS
    NYY - PHILIP HUGHES, BRIAN BRUNEY (5TH), SEAN HENN
    (6TH), SCOTT PROCTOR (7TH), MIKE

    Apr 26 10:33 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY LYLE OVERBAY SCORED ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6
    NY YANKEES 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.304, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesApr 26 9:41 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY SCOTT PROCTOR ALLOWED ALEX RIOS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V WELLS ON FIRST, A LIND ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    NY YANKEES 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.233, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesApr 26 9:38 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY FRANK THOMAS SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    NY YANKEES 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.233, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesApr 26 8:49 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED JOHN MCDONALD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    NY YANKEES 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A LIND (.294, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesApr 26 8:39 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 2 2 3 0
    NY YANKEES 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - A.J. BURNETT
    NYY - PHILIP HUGHES

    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.250, 1 HR, 6 RBI)
    D MIENTKIEWICZ (.163, 1 HR, 2 RBI)
    B ABREU (.293,

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesApr 26 7:21 PM