Hughes tosses 2 innings in first minor league rehab start

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees rookie Phil Hughes pitched two innings Monday for Class A Tampa in his first minor league rehab start since being sidelined more than two months by ankle and hamstring injuries.

Hughes didn't allow a hit, gave up an unearned run and walked two. He struck out three against the Dunedin Blue Jays.

His next start is scheduled for Saturday with Double-A Trenton.

Hughes hurt his hamstring May 1 while he was working on a no-hit bid in the seventh inning against Texas in his second major league start. He hurt his left ankle May 25 while doing an agility drill during a rehab program for a strained left hamstring.

"I was a little tentative in the first inning, but that's to be expected," said Hughes, who threw 20 of 36 pitches for strikes and had his fastball reach 94 mph. "The second inning I felt a lot more comfortable. I was kind of letting it go and not really thinking about landing as much on my front foot or anything like that."

Hughes said he was encouraged that his ankle and hamstring held up well.

"I didn't feel a thing out there so it was good," Hughes said.

The Yankees are 42-43 at the All-Star break and their rotation has been hurt by injuries.

"It's been very tough," Hughes said. "Not just the fact that the team is struggling, but from a selfish point of view, you never want to be out, whether I was in Triple-A or the big leagues.

"It's frustrating, especially the amount of time. You know little injuries are going to happen, but twice in a row like it did, it's very frustrating. I try not to dwell on it too much."

Jeff Karstens, out since April 28 with a broken right leg, is scheduled to make his second rehab start Thursday at Class A Staten Island. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings last Saturday in a Gulf Coast League game.