Phil Hughes’ long wait has ended. After his shortest, roughest career outing, Hughes starts fresh tonight at Camden Yards.

"It was especially tough, the last one," Hughes said of Wednesday’s first-inning knockout against Seattle. "It took me a couple of days to get over. It’s not something you ever want to go through, but it is what it is and I’m excited about [tonight] and officially putting that one out of my memory bank."

Hughes spent a few sleepless nights replaying thoughts of the Mariners’ seven earned runs on six hits and two walks in just two-thirds of an inning at Yankee Stadium. And then he dedicated his between-starts bullpen session to staying behind the ball. Against Seattle, Hughes felt he’d rushed his mechanics due to some extra first-inning adrenaline and was on the side of the ball instead of on top. The result: fastballs over the plate.

"It wasn’t any drastic changes or anything," Hughes said. "The days I’ve had my good fastball command, I’ve been able to work everything off that. The bad ones, [I was] falling behind and trying to work something out. [On those days] I need to do a better job of recognizing that earlier and throwing more off-speed pitches to counterbalance."

After a shaky start to the season, Hughes had a 1.93 ERA in four straight starts from April 18 to May 4, but the right-hander has yielded 13 earned runs combined in his past two starts, covering 6 1/3 innings. "I think Hughsie turns the page pretty well," manager Joe Girardi said.