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Yankees' Hughes misplaces comebacker, loses no-hitter in 8th

Big League Stew

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New York Yankees' right-hander Phil Hughes(notes) apparently likes to flirt with no-hitters.

Why does he bother? All they do is tease him.

Eric Chavez(notes) led off the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday by lining a comebacker off Hughes' glove-side forearm for an infield single, breaking up a no-hitter against the Oakland Athletics.

The Yankees went on to win 3-1, but the night could have been special if Hughes had come up with Chavez's hot liner.

The ball ricocheted in front of Hughes who, in bewilderment, turned every which way the ball wasn't in order to search for it.

"It seemed like I was looking for the ball for about 8 minutes," Hughes told reporters.

Chavez had plenty of time to reach first base and put a stop to the special bit of history that had been brewing. Hughes, like Yankees fans probably were hoping, wanted to be charged with an error. No such luck.

"I was telling CC [Sabathia] in the dugout, 'I gotta have that ball. Give me an error,' " Hughes said.

Watch the funny looking play

It's the second time in 30 career starts Hughes lost a no-no in the late innings because of a freakish occurrence.

As a 20-year-old rookie in 2007, Hughes took a no-hitter into the seventh against the Texas Rangers in just his second big-league start. That bid ended because of a hamstring injury. The experience was on his mind this time.

"After I got that first out in the 7th, I was just hoping I didn't go down with something," Hughes said.

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Hughes tries for the glove save ...

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He thinks it's deflected into space ...

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Behind you, Phil! You're blowing it, blowing it!

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It's OK. Mom and dad still love you.

Hughes, uninjured this time and still under 100 pitches, faced two more batters — striking out one and walking the other — before manager Joe Girardi brought in Joba Chamberlain(notes) to finish the inning.

Hughes finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts.

It's the second time the Yankees had a late no-hitter broken up in the past 12 days. Sabathia had one going for 7 2/3 against the Rays on April 10. Girardi claimed he would pull CC in that one, no matter that he had a no-no going. He appeared to be giving Hughes a chance to complete one.

Maybe next time.

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