But Hughes still shows his flashes of greatness, evidenced by what the righty called a "bounce-back outing" his last time out, when he earned his 12th win by working seven innings against Boston without allowing an earned run, although four unearned runs came from his own throwing error preceding a Dustin Pedroia homer.
"It was great, except for his throw to second," manager Joe Girardi said of Hughes' start. "They probably should have had one run, the home run, and that was it. I thought he really pitched tonight. He threw more changeups than he's probably done in four or five starts combined."
Like Hughes, White Sox starter Chris Sale relies on his fastball.
And also like Hughes, Sale arrived in the big leagues with plenty of promise. After two years in the bullpen, the 23-year-old All-Star has been nothing short of dominant as a starter this season, but he's already more than doubled his innings total from last season. On Wednesday, he'll try not only to earn his 15th win of the season but push the White Sox to a sweep of the visiting Yankees.
Sale's rising workload leaves Chicago contemplating caution while balancing its need for the 13th overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft anchoring its rotation.
The White Sox went to a six-man rotation for a stretch. They also gave Sale as many as nine days off between starts. But as August nears September and the Tigers continue to threaten the American League Central-leading White Sox, Sale figures to continue to get his starts.
"I'd put him up there with anybody," manager Robin Ventura said after a recent Sale start. "He's got great stuff, great competitor -- everything you want. He's young, but he's still one of the best in the league."
New York: Jeter continues climb up hits list
Derek Jeter hit the first pitch he saw from Francisco Liriano on Tuesday over the left-field fence, moving past Eddie Murray on baseball's all-time hits list.
The leadoff homer in New York's 7-3 loss was hit No. 3,256 of Jeter's career, giving the Yankees' captain sole possession of 11th place and putting him 1,000 hits behind all-time leader Pete Rose. But Willie Mays, with 3,283 hits, is the next target on Jeter's climb to the top 10.
Tuesday's effort continued a torrid month for Jeter, who is hitting .386 (34-for-88) with 11 extra-base hits, 13 RBIs and 18 runs scored in 21 August games. He is hitting .361 (57-for-158) since the All-Star break to improve his season average to .324 after it dipped below .300 for two games in early July.
It was Jeter's fourth homer in his past 10 games and the 252nd of his career.
Chicago: Wise gets a boost against former club
Dewayne Wise continued his strong series against the Yankees on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with a run scored after hitting a two-run homer in Monday's 9-6 Chicago win.
Wise admitted it felt good to hit well against the club for which he played 55 games this season before being designated for assignment once Ichiro Suzuki was dealt to New York. Wise hit .262 with three homers and eight RBIs for the Yankees and even pitched two-thirds of an inning in a blowout loss to the White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Now, Wise is leading off for Chicago, with Alejandro De Aza on the 15-day disabled list.
"I guess a lot of pressure is on them; it's a high-market team that has won a lot of championships over the years," Wise said of the Yankees. "Here, nobody expected us to be where we are."
CC Sabathia threw a pain-free bullpen session before Tuesday's game and remains on track to return from the 15-day DL to start Friday's series opener in Cleveland. Sabathia threw 38 pitches, including breaking balls.
Chicago's win on Tuesday gave the club its first season series win over the Yankees since 2003. The White Sox and Yanks split a four-game series earlier this season in the Bronx.