NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees finally provided starter Phil Hughes the run support he was lacking this season in a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday before 41,349 at Yankee Stadium.
Hughes (1-2) went eight innings, scattered four hits, struck out nine and walked only two. In his previous three outings, all no decisions, Hughes left in either the sixth or seventh inning trailing, 2-1, each time.
The 26-year-old right-hander retired the last 10 batters he faced Saturday before yielding to Shawn Kelly and Mariano Rivera in the ninth. Hughes owns a 1.93 ERA in his last four starts.
Hughes' nine strikeouts were one shy of his career mark set in 2010 against Oakland. He became the first Yankee right-handed starter to pitch at least eight shutout innings and strike out at least nine batters in a game since Mike Mussina on Sept. 14, 2004, at Kansas City.
"I was aggressive with my fastball and I was able to get ahead," Hughes said. "I was able to mix my off-speed stuff in when I needed to.
"It all starts with the fastball for me. I felt like once they (Athletics) were conscious of the fastball I could use more breaking balls and at times some sliders."
Hughes never the let frustration of a lack of run support effect his approach.
"I just try to go out there with the same attitude every time," Hughes said. "I can't help what goes on between innings. I just have to go out and execute pitches regardless of the score."
Bartolo Colon (3-1) was the hard-luck loser. The veteran right-hander went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six hits while striking out three and not allowing a walk.
Colon has given up only one walk in 37 1/3 innings this season. The former Yankee is winless in his last five starts against his former club.
"He didn't pitch badly," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "When you don't score any runs and you give up three, for the most part that will keep you in a game and give you a chance to win."
The Yankees staked Hughes to a 2-0 lead with solo home runs by Lyle Overbay and Chris Stewart, the seventh and eighth batters in the lineup, respectively.
Overbay hit his fifth home run of the season, a towering shot into the second deck in right field leading off the fifth.
Stewart delivered his second home run the year, a line drive into the lower grandstand in left leading off third.
"The bottom of the lineup was excellent today," Yankee manager Joe Girardi said. "It was an outstanding performance by those guys."
The Yankees tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh.
Travis Hafner deposited a bloop single into left field that scored Robinson Cano from third in the sixth. Cano doubled into the left field gap and moved to third on a fly to right by Vernon Wells.
Brett Gardner's single knocked in Eduardo Nunez, who had tripled, in the seventh.
The Athletics scored two runs in the ninth on a run-scoring single by Seth Smith and a run-scoring ground out by Josh Reddick that scored Josh Donaldson.
Oakland's best opportunity against Hughes occurred in the fifth. Reddick drew a walk to lead off and moved to second on a two-out single by John Jaso, but Hughes got designated hitter Jed Lowrie to fly out to center.
"(Hughes) had a better fastball than we've seen from him at the top of the zone," Melvin said. "We had a tough time laying off high fastballs today."
Hughes was aided by two nice catches by Ichiro Suzuki in right field. Ichiro robbed Jaso of a home run to lead off the game when he stretched to get his glove over the wall.
In the third, Suzuki took a hit away from second baseman Eric Sogard with a diving catch of a screaming line drive.
Hughes is 19-9 in his last 33 starts that immediately follow a Yankee loss, dating to 2009.
NOTES: Oakland starter Bartolo Colon has 13 years of major league experience. No other player on the A's roster has double figures in service. ... The Athletics lead the majors in with 142 walks, 164 runs, 70 doubles and 105 extra base hits. ... Catcher John Jaso batted leadoff for Oakland despite having drawn only nine walks in 81 bats previously this season, without a stolen base... Yankee manager Joe Girardi has the best winning percentage, .574, among managers with at least 1,000 games since Earl Weaver posted a .583 mark over a 17-year career in Baltimore. ... Yankee closer Mariano Rivera's 11 consecutive saves to start the season represent the third longest such streak in his career.