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NYY@OAK: Hughes fans six over 7 2/3 of two-run ball

The Yankees were in the running to acquire veteran right-hander Ryan Dempster -- ultimately dealt to the Rangers -- but they couldn't pull off a deal with the Cubs before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. With its rotation unchanged, New York will head into the regular season's fifth month with the pitchers who have lifted it atop the American League East.

One of those pitchers is righty Phil Hughes, who will take the mound in the Yankees' series finale against the Orioles on Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx. The Orioles have taken the first two games, cutting the Yankees' division lead to 5 1/2 games and extending New York's losing streak to four games.

Hughes has given the Yankees reason for hope over his last six starts. He is 3-2 with a 2.51 ERA during that span, with 30 strikeouts and nine walks. In his last outing, against Boston, Hughes allowed three runs on five hits -- including three homers -- over seven innings to earn the win.

"I tend to overthrow a little bit sometimes, especially early in the game," Hughes said afterward. "I've talked about it before, just trying to settle those nerves and be smart out there from pitch No. 1. I'll continue to work on that."

Hughes is 10-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 20 starts this season and has 107 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings.

The Orioles will counter with left-hander Zach Britton, who has made three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on July 17. Britton struggled in his last outing, against the A's, allowing six runs over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. He gave up five runs in the first two frames before settling in.

"I told myself to try to go as deep in the game as I could," Britton said.

The Orioles had discussions with the Phillies about a deal for veteran righty Joe Blanton, but Baltimore's lack of activity at the Deadline means it will need young starters like Britton to provide solid innings. Britton is 1-0 with a 5.74 ERA, and his biggest issue thus far has been walks. The 24-year-old lefty has issued nine free passes in his first three starts.

Orioles: Andino activated as Thome hits DL
• The Orioles activated second baseman Robert Andino from the disabled list prior to Tuesday night's 11-5 win over the Yankees and placed designated hitter Jim Thome on the 15-day DL with a herniated disc in his neck. Thome underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday morning after missing three straight games due to nagging pain.

"Hopefully he can get that injection in the next couple days and make it back on the 12th [of August]," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Andino, who had been sidelined with a left shoulder strain, did not start on Tuesday, but he entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. He is hitting .230 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 79 games this season.

• Leadoff hitter Nick Markakis is 6-for-9 with four RBIs in the first two games of the series. The right fielder is hitting .292 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs in 69 games this season.

Yankees: McGehee bolsters infield
• The Yankees acquired infielder Casey McGehee and cash considerations from the Pirates in exchange for right-handed reliever Chad Qualls on Tuesday. McGehee is expected to join the team for Wednesday's game.

McGehee has struggled at the plate this year, but the Yankees sought depth at the corner-infield positions due to third baseman Alex Rodriguez's broken left hand and first baseman Mark Teixeira's left wrist inflammation. McGehee, 29, hit .230 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 92 games for the Pirates this season. He hit 23 home runs with 104 RBIs for the Brewers in 2010.

"This is a guy who has put up big numbers in his career," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We're hoping he can help us."

• The Yankees activated right-hander Joba Chamberlain from the DL prior to Tuesday's game. Chamberlain hasn't pitched this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last June and dislocating his right ankle in March. He took Qualls' place on the roster.

Worth noting
• Britton is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees.

• Hughes is 4-3 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 career starts (14 appearances) against the Orioles.

• The Orioles' 11 runs on Tuesday were the most they had scored since they plated 12 against the Pirates on June 14. Comments