It took a few days for Phil Hughes to get over his last start, a disaster against the Mariners in which he gave up seven runs and recorded only two outs. That's the way things have been going lately for the Yankees right-hander, who allowed six runs in his prior outing.
He'll have a chance to put his last two starts completely out of mind Tuesday night, when he leads the Yankees against the Orioles, who have lost six straight, at Camden Yards.
"It was tough. It's the first time I have not gotten out of the first, so it was especially tough, the last one," Hughes said Monday. "It's never something you want to go through. It is what it is. I'm excited about tomorrow and officially putting that one out of my memory bank, hopefully having a good one."
Hughes said he might have been getting on the side of the ball against Seattle, pushing his fastball over the middle of the plate. It happens fairly often when he overthrows, he said, so he focused on staying behind the ball and being aggressive in his between-starts bullpen session. In other words, he thinks he could have corrected it eventually, and he's not going to make any dramatic changes as a result of what happened Wednesday.
What really separates the effective Hughes from the one with an 18.47 ERA over his last two starts? Fastball command. When he simply doesn't have it, the best thing he can do is admit it and start working in more offspeed pitches. It's that line of thinking that kept Hughes up the first few nights after that start against Seattle.
"You lay in bed and you think about things, what could have gone differently for you and what you could have done better. It's tough," Hughes said. "It's tough any way you slice it. I'm looking forward to taking the ball tomorrow and hopefully getting back on a good streak."
Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, meanwhile, is just looking to get back on the mound. Gonzalez is expected to be activated off the disabled list before Tuesday's game after being sidelined since May 3 with a blister on his right thumb.
Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts this season. He walked five but allowed only three runs (two earned) in six innings at Yankee Stadium on April 12. Though Gonzalez wasn't happy about heading to the disabled list, he could see that it was obviously a better move than taking the mound unable to throw all his pitches.
"It's better to [take] a step back than two or three," Gonzalez said on May 10. "It's important for me to get healthy and be 100 percent for the next start."
Yankees: Tex takes swings in sim game
• First baseman Mark Teixeira (partially torn tendon sheath in right wrist) announced on Twitter on Monday that he had his first at-bats since March at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., another step forward in his recovery. Manager Joe Girardi called the latest update on Teixeira "really good news," though he also said New York wants Teixeira to have "a lot of at-bats" before returning, so he will continue taking part in simulated games.
"But I know he feels really good," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "I know he feels strongly that this is going to be successful and that's great. That's worth something, but at the end of the day, I've been disappointed before. So think the worst and hope the best."
• Rounding up the rest of the Yankees' injured players: Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis are taking ground balls in Tampa, Eduardo Nunez is fielding grounders and taking dry swings, Ivan Nova threw 3 2/3 innings in a simulated game and Chris Stewart hit off a tee Monday. Derek Jeter, meanwhile, is out of his walking boot but "not [doing] a whole lot," according to Girardi.
Orioles: Chen heading to Florida
• Although he isn't expected to pick up a ball for at least a week, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (oblique strain) is heading to Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday to get an early start on his rehab. Chen will start working on a stationary bike and, if all goes well, start running next week. Manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles would be "fortunate" if Chen were to begin a throwing program after another week.
"I want to come back as soon as possible, but this injury I cannot push too hard," Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. "I have to heal completely, so I don't want to rush."
• The Orioles signed catcher Ronnie Paulino, according to Baseball America. Paulino broke camp last spring as Baltimore's backup catcher and was released by Seattle on March 30.
• Robinson Cano's homer gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first inning Monday. But the Bombers have still been outscored, 32-14, in the first inning this season. The Orioles, meanwhile, have outscored opponents, 34-16, in the opening frame.
• The Yankees are now 19-0 this year when scoring first, tying the 1902 Pirates for the second-best such record since 1900. They're only one win away from tying the 1990 Reds (20-0) for the record.