After taking the first game since the All Star Break, the Yankees looked to win their fifth straight against Seattle this season, and with Michael Pineda on the mound, they had to feel good about their chances. Opposing Pineda was experienced Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who has struggled to stay healthy and effective this season. Still, in his last outing, Iwakuma limited the AL West leading Los Angeles Angels to no runs over eight strong innings.
Pineda got off to a rough start, though, surrendering two first inning runs on Robinson Cano's home run. Cano has struggled for much of the year (failing to make the All Star team for the first time since 2009), but he had a hell of a game today. With Kyle Seager on first, Cano belted a big fly deep to center and over Jacoby Ellsbury's head, giving the Mariners a 2-0 lead before Pineda had even had a chance to settle in.
Iwakuma kept the Yankees off the board for the first three innings, giving up just one hit and striking out two. He continued his run of success early in the bottom of the fourth, getting Gardner to fly out in foul territory and striking out Alex Rodriguez for the second time of the day. However, Mark Teixeira then roped a single up the middle, and on a nearly identical fastball down the middle, Brian McCann blasted one over the Yankee bullpen and into the stands to tie the game.
The tie didn't last long, though, as Robinson Cano was not going to return to the Bronx without making some more noise. For the second time in the game, Cano pulled another homer out to right center, once again scoring Seager. Pineda got out of the inning after that, but the damage was done. The Yankees had a good chance to get back in the game in the next half inning. Ellsbury and Gardner led off the inning with singles, giving the Yankees two on with no outs and the heart of the order coming up. Iwakuma made Rodriguez look foolish again, though, striking him out for the third time of the afternoon, and Teixeira grounded into a fielder's choice. With the lefty McCann coming up, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon brought in lefty reliever Joe Beimel to face the Yankee catcher. Beimel handled his business, getting McCann to fly out to center and end the threat.
Chasen Shreve and Adam Warren finished off the game for New York, surrendering no more runs to the Mariners. The Yankee bats didn't show any more signs of life until the bottom of the ninth, when Teixeira doubled off Carson Smith to lead off the inning. After McCann struck out, Headley also struck out but managed to reach when the ball got past Mariners' catcher Mike Zunino. Teixeira then scored on a Garrett Jones groundout, which also advanced Chris Young (running for Headley) into scoring position. With Didi Gregorius at the plate and the game on his bat, the new Yankee shortstop grounded out to Cano to end the game.
The Yankees had their chances, but they couldn't quite put together a comeback this afternoon. Tomorrow's game will decide the series, when Felix Hernandez takes on CC Sabathia in the Bronx.