Phil Hughes pitches Yankees past Red Sox

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The Yankees held serve with the Orioles by beating the Red Sox 2-0 in a breezy 3 hours, 11 minutes on Thursday night.

The win kept the Yankees in a tie for first place in the AL East.

It was the lowest scoring game between the two teams in 59 games dating back to Aug. 7, 2009. That contest was scoreless until the bottom of the 15th, when Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run homer to end it.

Phil Hughes was the person most responsible for making this a (relatively) quick affair. He pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings, walking just one batter in a 95-pitch effort. The Red Sox walked seven, in comparison. Five of those came from starter Felix Doubront, but the lefty turned in a solid outing anyway, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. It was his fourth quality start against the Yankees this year.

Andruw Jones and Derek Jeter knocked in the runs for the Yankees. Jeter was used as a DH tonight after leaving Wednesday’s game with a bone bruise in his left ankle.

The Red Sox were missing their best healthy hitter. Dustin Pedroia left the team last night to be wife his wife when she gave birth today.

Joe Girardi won’t use Masahiro Tanaka in Game 7

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The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.

Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.

Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.

Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.