The Seattle Mariners aren't exactly the best offensive team, but credit where credit is due. Phil Hughes was outstanding tonight, delivering his best start of the season tonight. Hughes held the Mariners offense to just three hits and walked two over seven shutout innings. After walking Kelly Shoppach to start the 8th he was pulled, having thrown 111 pitches on the night.
The Yankees offense actually was held down for most of the night, having managed just one hit off Seattle pitching in the first two innings and innings 4-9. But the offense exploded for 6 runs in the third off of Aaron Harang, and that was more than enough for Phil Hughes tonight. Jayson Nix led off the third with a single and moved to second two batters later following a Brett Gardner single. Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira proceeded to send the next two pitches over the right field wall to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
Travis Hafner singled to follow the back to back homers and Kevin Youkilis doubled off the right field wall to set up second and third with one out. Back to back singles by Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki gave the Yankees a 6-0 lead, topping off the 6 run inning and effectively ending the night for Aaron Harang. Blake Beaven relieved Harang and one-hit the Yankees the rest of the game, but more than enough damage was done in the third.
Preston Claiborne relieved Hughes in the eighth and got a force out before Jason Bay reached on an error by Youkilis. Boone Logan entered to face the lefty Kyle Seager and allowed a double that knocked in the only Mariners run. Logan struck out the next two batters to end the threat. The run is charged as an unearned run to Phil Hughes due to the error by Youkilis.
Shawn Kelley came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the Yankees 6-1 win.
A few game notes:
- Robinson Cano broke out of a quiet-mini slump he was in entering tonights game. Cano was 2-20 over his last six games entering tonight.
- Mark Teixeira has three home runs in his last four games, and seems to be seeing the ball better at the plate. His first two home runs were both big difference makers in the outcome of the game, so Teixeira is immediately providing a big boost with his return to the lineup.
- Austin Romine was the only Yankee not to get a hit in the 6 run third inning, and he made two of the three outs. This doesn't surprise me.
The Yankees have won four in a row, following up nicely tonight after the sweep of the Indians. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball tomorrow night to try and extend the winning streak to five. First pitch around 10:10 PM Eastern.