Hughes will have about 20 family and friends present as he squares off with fellow Southern California native Jered Weaver. Hughes played in Angel Stadium a few times in high school and used to attend Angels games as a kid, usually when they played the Red Sox, his favorite team. But will he need tickets for 200 people, like CC Sabathia just did in Oakland?
"I can't afford to do that," Hughes said. "It's exciting getting the family to come out; it's not very often that that happens. It's a little different than just a normal start, but it's exciting. ... It always brings back good memories just being there, even if I'm not pitching, just seeing the stadium. We don't get to go out there very often, so it makes it a little more special."
Hughes took the loss in the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim and has made only one career start there, one he'd rather forget. In 2007, his rookie season, he allowed five runs on four hits and five walks over 6 1/3 innings. He didn't think pitching at home had anything to do with it, though.
"Hopefully it will be better than that one," Hughes said. "It was my rookie year. It just wasn't a good one."
Hughes has bounced back from some rough outings to start the season by going 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA over his last four starts. He lost to the Angels earlier this season, giving up six runs over 3 1/3 innings, though the Yankees took two of three in that mid-April series.
But these Angels are on a roll right now, having won their last six games. Granted, those wins came over division rivals Oakland and Seattle, and the Angels are expected to beat those offensively challenged clubs. The Yankees will be a tougher test for the Angels, but the Halos have the right man on the mound in Weaver. Overall this season, the right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA and a no-hitter under his belt.
"Every game's a test. You're facing a tough club every game on this schedule, and pitchers that can shut you down, lineups that can beat you," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's not the way we look at it. The Yankees are a terrific club, but you're going to face a test every night in this schedule."
"We just have to keep doing the same thing we've been doing recently -- winning," added Kendrys Morales. "Just keep playing the game right. That's all we need to focus on."
Yankees: Bombers prepping for Pujols
Albert Pujols went 0-for-4 on Sunday, but he's looked more like his old self at the plate lately. And the Yankees have noticed.
"You have to be careful with where he's at, when you attack him and when you don't necessarily attack him," manager Joe Girardi said. "The last 15 games, he's hit over .300 with a bunch of home runs. He's hit the way he's capable of hitting, and it's not just fastballs he's hitting, so I think you have to be careful with him."
So it's safe to assume, then, that the Yankees wouldn't have minded seeing Pujols' season-opening slump last just a bit longer?
"I was kind of hoping for about four more days," Girardi said.
Derek Jeter passed George Brett and took sole possession of 14th place on baseball's all-time hits list Sunday with his 3,155th career hit. Next up for Jeter is Cal Ripken Jr., who is 13th all time with 3,184 hits.
Angels: Relievers on a roll
Jordan Walden, Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri combined to allow one run over three innings of relief Sunday. In the Angels' last 12 games, the bullpen is 2-1 with a 0.81 ERA, holding opponents to a .177 average with 37 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.
Frieri has yet to give up a hit since joining the Angels on May 3, striking out 23 batters over 11 innings.
"He's been unbelievable," Downs said of Frieri. "His attitude's been great, he's a hard worker, he's a good kid. And it helps. It's another guy in the back end of the bullpen that's going to help us out, and he has confidence in what he does. And I think his confidence rubs off on other people."
Outfielder Torii Hunter is expected to rejoin his teammates in Anaheim, though the Angels aren't sure if he will be activated Monday. Hunter has been on the restricted list since May 14 due to a personal matter in Texas, where his teenage son is facing sexual-assault charges.
Weaver had a 1.80 ERA in two starts against the Yankees last season. In all, current Yankees are hitting .264/.351/.583 off Weaver, with Raul Ibanez (.519/.606/1.037 with four homers in 33 plate appearances) and Alex Rodriguez (.304/.448/1.000 with five homers in 29 PAs) enjoying the most success against him.
The Yankees are 22-17 on Memorial Day since 1971, having won their last three games on the holiday, and will play their fifth Memorial Day game against the Angels on Monday. They are 2-2 in Memorial Day contests against the Halos.