After being selected to represent the American League as the starting second baseman in the MLB All-Star Game, Robinson Cano displayed why with a go-ahead two-run homer in the third inning to back Phil Hughes. (Image: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE)

Starring Roles: Hughes, Cano lead Yankees over White Sox

On a day which celebrated stars from yesteryear, the New York Yankees were lead by a possibly still-growing star in Phil Hughes and an established star, Robinson Cano, who is promising to be a part of the Old-Timers Day games in the distant future.  Hughes tossed eight innings of two-run ball and Cano homered once again as the Yankees gained a series split with the Chicago White Sox after a 4-2 win.

Hughes allowed both runs to score in the first inning, but he buckled down in the extreme heat and dominated the White Sox the rest of the way. Hughes followed impressive starts from Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda in the wake of losing All-Star CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte to injuries. It was Hughes second straight eight-inning victory and his sixth win in his last eight starts.

After the Yankees celebrated their 66th Old-Timers Day, the current crop of Yankees won this game with the typical offensive performance they’ve established as their modus operandi, using the long ball. Eric Chavez tied the game with a mammoth homer to the second deck in right field in the bottom of the sixth inning. Chavez, who was playing third base in order to rest Alex Rodriguezhas been excellent this season in his reserve role. He is hitting .275 with 6 homers and 15 RBI in 131 plate appearances and owns an .822 OPS.

The following inning, the Yanks received a home run from a more common source. Cano, who was named the starter for the American League All-Star team at second base, unleashed his 20th homer of the season, a two-run go-ahead shot into the right field bleachers. He hit 11 home runs in the month of June and his power stroke seems intact for a July run.

The four runs off White Sox starter Gavin Floyd, who tossed 122 pitches in just 5 1/3 innings, would be more than enough as Hughes cruised through the last seven innings. Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth and recorded his 18th save in 19 chances allowing a walk and striking out two. He owns a 1.78 ERA on the season and has given the Yankees everything they could have hoped for with Mariano Rivera out for the season.

The Yankees (48-30) increased their lead in the AL East to six games over the Baltimore Orioles. The White Sox (42-37) saw their lead over the Cleveland Indians chopped to 1.5 games.

The Yankees traveled to Tampa last night to get set to play the Rays at Tropicana Field in a three-game series. Freddy Garcia will make his first start since April hoping to keep the Rays at bay in his turn in the new-look rotation while Sabathia and Pettitte recuperate. Garcia (2-2, 6.39 ERA) is 9-2 lifetime with a 3.28 ERA against the Rays.

The Rays have Matt Moore on the mound. Moore has been somewhat of a disappointment this season, going 4-5 with a 4.19 ERA. In Moore’s only appearance against the Yankees, his first major league start last season, he struck out 11 batters in five innings.

For an in depth preview of the Yankees series against the Rays, check out the Yanks Go Yard Podcast Series Preview hosted by Ricky Keeler later this morning.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte CC Sabathia Chicago White Sox Eric Chavez Freddy Garcia Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Mariano Rivera Matt Moore New York Yankees Phil Hughes Rafael Soriano Robinson Cano Tampa Bay Rays Yankees

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