The Yankees (29-24) had the daunting task of going against reigning AL MVP and CY Young Award winner Justin Verlander but it was Phil Hughes who was the best pitcher on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park as the Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers (25-29) 5-1. Hughes was stellar while Verlander uncharacteristically struggled. Hughes pitched a complete game only giving up one run on four base hits and struck out eight in by far his best outing this season.  It was Hughes first complete game of his career.

Verlander struggled from the get go when Derek Jeter hit a leadoff first pitch home run putting the Yankees out to an early 1-0 lead. It was Jeter’s sixth home run of the season. The Yankees weren’t done in the inning; Curtis Granderson followed with a walk and was driven home by a Mark Teixeira sac-fly later in the inning. Verlander struggled to find the zone falling behind in the count to many Yankee hitters throughout the game.

In the third inning Alex Rodriguez belted a one out solo home run off of Verlander to left center. The monster home run was estimated at 447 feet, it was A-Rod’s ninth of the year and put the Yankees up 3-0.

The only Tigers run came in the fourth inning when Tigers slugger Prince Fielder blasted a solo home run off of Hughes. Fielder now has nine on the year.

In the fifth inning the Yankees added their final two runs when Curtis Granderson doubled and Robinson Cano tripled him in. Cano was able to score on the play due to a throwing error by Tigers second basemen Danny Worth that rolled into the third base side dug out.

Verlander lasted 6 1/3 innings gave up five runs; three earned on nine hits and struck out four. Verlander has lost his last three outings, something he hasn’t done for since the 2008 season.

The Yankees have Monday off and will play again on Tuesday when they host the Tampa Bay Rays. Andy Pettitte (2-2 3.49) starts for the Yankees while James Shields (6-3 3.95) goes for the Rays. Pregame coverage begins at 6:30, first pitch at 7:05 right here on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.