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Yanks send Hughes to hill vs. Orioles

Apr 14, 2011 - 2:36 PM (Sports Network) - Phil Hughes tries to put two dreadful starts behind him this evening when the New York Yankees continue what is now a two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

Dogged by velocity concerns this spring, Hughes struggled in a season-opening loss to Detroit. He was even worse his next time out on Friday against the Boston Red Sox, who battered him for six runs in just two innings of work.

"My arm strength was obviously something that wasn't there today," said Hughes, who is pitching to a 16.50 earned run average. "I tried to make up for it by throwing cutters and anything really to get some outs. It seemed everything I threw up there was getting hit around."

The 24-year-old right-hander has faced the Orioles 11 times (eight starts) and is 4-2 against them, despite a 5.04 ERA.

Baltimore will counter with a young right-hander of its own in 25-year-old Jake Arrieta, who was banged around his last time out. Following a solid debut that saw him surrender a run in six innings, the Texas Rangers hit Arrieta hard for eight runs in just 3 1/3 frames.

Arrieta has beaten the Yankees both times he has faced them, pitching to a 3.65 ERA in those outings.

After Tuesday's opener was rained out, New York won on Wednesday, as Alex Rodriguez smacked a three-run homer and Robinson Cano hit a two-run double, helping the Yankees to a 7-4 victory.

New York scored six runs off Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (0-1) in the first two innings, then held on for the win.

Yankees starter A.J. Burnett (3-0) got through six innings without incident, but gave up two-run shots to Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts with one away in the seventh before being pulled. He allowed seven total hits, walked two and struck out five.

"I loved him. He threw the ball extremely well," Rodriguez said. "He was flawless for six innings and I thought he threw the ball with a lot of conviction. He mixed in a devastating changeup, and I thought overall he threw to the scoreboard. It's a sign of maturity."

Tillman lasted only 1 2/3 frames for the Orioles, who have dropped three in a row.

New York won 13 of its 18 matchups with the Orioles last season, including seven of the nine meetings in the Bronx.