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Hughes kicks off series against Red Sox

Hughes kicks off set vs. Red Sox

NEW YORK -- Packing up the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park was a hushed process for the Yankees last week, as they prepared to trudge to the team charter after being swept in a three-game series by the Red Sox.

Nick Swisher broke up the glum mood by announcing loudly that the "hit train" was coming to the next road stop and would drop off some love in Detroit. And sure enough, the Yankees snapped out of their doldrums by winning their next four games, washing away some of the bad taste.

Yet it is not forgotten for the Bombers, who come into the series having won four of their past five games -- at least, not yet.

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"We remember it, there's no doubt," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "You never want to get swept no matter who you're playing. Getting swept by the Red Sox stings a little bit.

"I think what the Red Sox did to us, we did to the Angels the first two games of [the last] series. We battled -- two good teams played each other, and the team that came up with the big hits ended up winning the game."

The Yankees will have an opportunity to prove the bounce-back from taking three on the chin on Monday, as the new Yankee Stadium is prepared to host its first New York-Boston matchup.

"It's our house and our comfort zone, in a sense," manager Joe Girardi said. "We get to come to our ballpark, and they have to play us here."

One day after being washed out from his scheduled start against the Angels, right-hander Phil Hughes gets an opportunity to face the Red Sox on a big stage.

"They're all important, especially this early," Hughes said. "Obviously, it's a little different lineup than the Angels, but you have to attack them the same way. I'll take a look at their charts a little bit, but I'm not going to completely change what I'm doing."

Hughes gets the opportunity to reverse fortune after the weekend sweep, which included a demoralizing steal of home by Jacoby Ellsbury off Andy Pettitte on April 26. What chapped the Yankees most about their lost weekend in Boston was that they believed they should have won two out of three at Fenway.

Mariano Rivera was on the mound with a two-run lead and one out to go in the ninth inning on April 24, while A.J. Burnett was provided a six-run lead early on April 25 only to give it all back. Still, Girardi preferred to look at the positives.

"I thought we got some key hits in some big situations," Girardi said. "The first two games we lost in Boston, we had a chance to win Game 1 and they came back and beat us. Game 2, we had a big lead, we got behind, we came back. We got some big hits but weren't able to come back enough. I thought we actually played the first two games very well."

The Yankees did a lot right after leaving Boston, taking two out of three from the Tigers and also the first two games at home against the Angels before dropping Saturday's decision and being washed out on Sunday.

"It's a long season, and you've got to understand that," said Joba Chamberlain, Tuesday's scheduled starter. "Nobody is pressing. We've got a lot of great leaders on this team to keep us calm and understand we've got to take one game at a time and look ahead. We've done a great job of figuring it out and grinding it out lately."

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Phil Hughes (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Winless in the big leagues since Sept. 27, 2007, Hughes showcased sharp stuff in handcuffing the Tigers' lineup to just two hits over six scoreless innings on Tuesday. Firing his fastball as high as 96 mph, Hughes spotted his curveball and used his cutter to strike out six, walking two. His biggest moment came in the fourth inning, inducing Josh Anderson to ground out with the bases loaded. Hughes was activated from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier that afternoon, summoned to jump into the rotation as right-hander Chien-Ming Wang works on mechanical and physical issues at the club's complex in Tampa, Fla.

BOS: LHP Jon Lester (1-2, 5.40 ERA)
It wasn't Lester's finest moment. He got hit hard early in his last outing in Cleveland on Wednesday, but showing fortitude if not his best stuff, Lester ate up innings for the Red Sox. He didn't let the game get totally out of control, though it might have if he hadn't picked off a couple of baserunners. But so far this season, Lester continues to look for the consistency that has marked his past. And he needs to be consistent if the Red Sox are to keep their rotation strong with two starters on the disabled list.

Tidbits
Robinson Cano had his American League-season-high hitting streak snapped at 18 games on Saturday. The streak was a personal single-season best and tied a career best. He batted .363 (29-for-80) with 14 runs scored, five doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs and two walks over the stretch. ... Hideki Matsui has a 12-game hitting streak and is 17-for-46 (.370) over the stretch. ... Jorge Posada has homered in two consecutive games. ... Swisher (bruised right elbow) is considered day-to-day. ... Left-hander Casey Fossum was signed to a Minor League contract by the Yankees on Friday and was assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• YES, ESPN

On radio
• WCBS 880, 92.7 WQBU (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Yankees (Joba Chamberlain, 1-0, 3.13) vs. Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 2-2, 7.22), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Yankees (A.J. Burnett, 2-0, 5.40) vs. Rays (Andy Sonnanstine, 1-3, 6.75), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 2-1, 3.82) vs. Rays (Jeff Niemann, 2-3, 5.68), 7:05 p.m. ET

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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