Despite struggles by Alex Rodriguez in his first game back at Yankee Stadium and a blown save by Mariano Rivera, the Yankees were able to snap the Tigers' 12-game winning streak on Friday with a 4-3 win in 10 innings. Now New York will look for consecutive wins for the first time since July 11-12.
The Yankees on Saturday will start Phil Hughes, who is looking for his first win since July 2. He has struggled in his starts since the All-Star break, allowing five runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings in his previous start, on Sunday against the Padres.
"It's been really tough. It's been like a nightmare I can't wake up from," Hughes said after that game. "It's like a battle every time, even if I have a good start. It's not easy. On a day like this, it's really disappointing."
Meanwhile, his counterpart, Anibal Sanchez, has been dominant for the last month. In four starts since the All-Star break, he's 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA. In his most recent start, against the Indians on Monday, he allowed two runs on four hits in 7 2/3 innings while striking out 11.
"I pitched good and I feel good, but my first pitch [for strikes] hasn't been there, and I need it," Sanchez said after a recent outing. "I need to work on that, and I need to work on the out pitch, especially late in the count that I used to do right before I went on the DL [in June]."
Tigers: Infante will continue rehab
Omar Infante will spend at least a few more days on his rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo to test his previously sprained left ankle.
"I think he'll probably play the weekend," manager Jim Leyland said. "I would say possibly, if everything goes right, [we'll] shoot for possibly Monday. But don't hold me to that."
Infante played second base for the second straight day on Friday, going 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk and an RBI.
Yankees: Girardi wants improvements
Before Friday's win the Yankees had gone 6-14 in their last 20 games, their worst stretch since another 6-14 string in May 2003.
With their struggles, the Yankees have fallen 10 games back in the American League East and seven games behind for a Wild Card berth. According to Baseball Prospectus, the Yankees entered play on Friday with just a 1.9 percent chance of making the postseason.
"These guys are capable of playing much better than they are," manager Joe Girardi said. "And I think it comes down to us, as a whole, playing better and scoring more runs. That's what we're going to have to do."
• Miguel Cabrera has had Hughes' number, batting .523 against him with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 23 career at-bats.
• The Yankees haven't won their past eight series since winning a three-game set against the Orioles in early July. It's their longest single-season streak without a series win since 1991, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.