Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 8/25/13
Phil Hughes, starting pitcher, in 2013. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Phil Hughes (4-12, 4.88 ERA) kicks off the series north of the boarder against R.A. Dickey (9-12, 4.49 ERA). The Yankees may have won Hughes’ last start, a no-decision against the Blue Jays, but it was his eighth consecutive outing without a win. The righty held Toronto to two runs over six innings for his 11th quality start of the season. “I feel like I’m making progress in the right direction,” Hughes said. “It all starts with my fastball. I was able to get ahead a lot, throw a lot of strikes and force guys to swing the bats. It worked out all right.” Dickey continues to experience problems keeping the ball inside the park. During his last outing, he was rolling along until Alfonso Soriano took him deep in the eighth. He has already allowed four more homers this year than in all of 2012. Late inning rallies allowed both the Blue Jays and the Yankees to avoid sweeps on Sunday. New York will get an added boost when their captain, Derek Jeter, returns to the team for the series opener against Toronto on Monday at Rogers Center. “He has played three days in a row on a rehab assignment. From everything I understand, he felt pretty good,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know if we can afford to be apprehensive.” Alex Rodriguez was left out of the starting lineup on Sunday, though he did pinch hit in the 10th inning, as the Yankees try to keep his legs fresh while playing a stretch of six straight games on artificial turf. “Whenever we get on this turf six days in a row,  it was a concern last year for some of our guys,” Girardi said. “That’s partly because of age, and we try to manage them carefully.” Rodriguez has struggled over the past week, going 2-18 (.111) with seven strikeouts in his last five games before a single to center on Sunday. Lyle Overbay returned to the Yankees’ lineup on Sunday after being out two days with flu like symptoms   Notes on the game. The Yankees are undefeated at home against Toronto this season, going 10-0. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the fifth time in franchise history the Yankees swept a home season series against a team they hosted at least 10 times. With 3,308 career hits, Jeter is six hits away from tying Eddie Collins (3,314) for ninth place on the all time list.   First pitch at 7:05 PM on Yes.
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