After racking up 18 big ones last season, Phil Hughes recorded his first win of 2011 today. Hughes gave the Yanks a quality start, tossing six innings of two run ball as the Yankees came away victorious, 7-2. Brett Gardner continued his hot hitting, recording three hits and three runs. With the win, the Yankees improve to 55-37 and currently sit one game behind the Boston Red Sox.

Yep, It Was A Hot One

The Yankees will leave Canada feeling good for a few different reasons.

After dropping their first two against the Jays, the Yankees needed two victories from Sabathia and Hughes, which they got. Even more importantly, Hughesy was dynamite today. On a very muggy and hot day in Toronto, he scattered four hits over six innings. He struck out five (season high) and only walked two, throwing 80 pitches. On a less humid day, Girardi probably sends Hughes back out for the seventh, but leaving on a high note is always good. With Bartolo and Freddy struggling in their last starts, quality starts from Hughes will be vastly important.

One player who doesn’t want to leave Toronto is Brett Gardner. Over the four game set, Gardy went 10 for 16 with five runs and three stolen bases. He was the catalyst in today’s win. Swish went 6 for 17 in the series, adding two key hits today. After such a slow start, Swish has 50 RBIs through 92 games. If he gets hot, 100 RBIs is in the realm of possibilities.

Hats off to the bullpen. Cory Wade, D-Rob, and Boonie threw three perfect innings, striking out five to lock down the W for Hughesy.

The Yankees won’t waste any time as they are currently hoping on a plane to Tampa Bay. They will kick off a four-game set with the Rays on Monday night.

Monday, 7:10 PM: AJ Burnett (8-7, 4.15 ERA) vs. TBA