Friday night marked the first night of the Yankees’ nine game West Coast road trip. If the Yankees are going to struggle against strong pitching and spectacular defensive plays, it’s going to be a long trip. Ichiro and Brendan Ryan both hit run scoring grounds in the sixth while Franklin Gutierrez robbed Nick Swisher of a home run in the fourth inning. The M’s were able to rally against the Yankee bullpen while their own bullpen held the Yankees scoreless over the final four frames of the game. With the win, the Mariners (25-25) are .500 for the first time since April 4th while the loss drops the Bombers to 27-22.

 

Recap

Thanks to a Mark Teixeira first-inning solo home run, a Michael Pineda wild pitch, and an A-Rod RBI single, the Yankees held a 3-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the fifth. The Mariners were able to take advantage of Burnett’s mistakes in the fifth, playing ABC baseball with runners on. Two RBI ground outs cut the Yankee lead to 3-2. The Mariners played fundamental ball against in the sixth inning, plating two more runs on RBI ground outs. The Mariners would not relinquish their 4-3 lead as their bullpen threw four innings of scoreless ball.

AJ Burnett was very erratic all night, walking five hitters while giving up two runs on four hits in only five innings of work. Burnett struck out six, but his high pitch count (97) prevented him from giving the Yankees a quality start. Luis Ayala was the first arm out of the pen, which ultimately made the difference in the contest. Ayala came on in relief of Boone Logan in the sixth and gave way to the decisive two runs for Seattle.

Rookie starting pitcher Michael Pineda made his first start ever against the Bombers tonight. Pineda featured an array of pitches, sporting a 97 MPH fastball and sharp slider. Pineda walked as many as he struck out (5), but he gives the M’s organization a lot of hope for the future.

Key Stats

18: The Yankees opened the game playing the fewest road games (18) among any team in baseball.

14: Teix’s HR total so far

23: After going 1 for 5 tonight, Derek Jeter only needs 23 more hits to reach 3,000.

What’s Next?

King Felix show tonight in Seattle.

10:10 PM: Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01 ERA)

**Hernandez is 5-3 with a 2.73 ERA in eight starts against the Yanks.

**Hernandez was 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA in three starts against the Yanks last year.