After breaking out of their scoring drought, the New York Yankees look to win back-to-back series for the first time this season when they wrap up their three-game set with the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
The Yankees (17-18) defeated the Mariners 7-2 on Saturday night after scoring just twice in their previous 22 innings.
“That’s the way our offense can roll,” said Johnny Damon, whose RBI double was part of a five-run second inning that propelled New York.
Derek Jeter went 3-for-5, and is batting .552 (16-for-29) with six multihit games during an eight-game hitting streak. His run also has allowed him to raise his batting average 46 points to a league-leading .376.
Jorge Posada also had three hits on Saturday, and is 15-for-30 during an eight-game hitting streak.
New York, which is seven games back of AL East-leading Boston, took two of three over Texas before its current series with the Mariners (16-16).
Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.72 ERA) starts for the Yankees on Sunday, trying to win consecutive starts for the first time in 2007. Pettitte has been pitching well, allowing two or fewer earned runs in six of his seven starts, but his erratic bullpen hasn’t helped him.
The left-hander gave up one run and seven hits in seven innings of an 8-2 win over the Rangers on Tuesday for his first win since April 10.
“You want to get ‘W’s,’ but I’ve been around long enough where you realize it’s just part of it,” Pettitte told the team’s official Web site. “The ‘W’s’ are going to come. I’m not very concerned with it. I want to help this team win.”
Pettitte has been at his best on the road, going 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in five games - four starts. He has lost his last three starts at Safeco Field, though, allowing 17 runs in 16 2-3 innings.
Pettitte, who hasn’t faced the Mariners since 2003, is 8-9 with a 4.97 ERA in 17 career starts against Seattle.
Mariners center fielder Ichiro Suzuki is batting .421 (8-for-19) in his career against Pettitte, and .360 (9-for-25) during a six-game hitting streak.
Seattle’s Horacio Ramirez (2-2, 7.62) tries to rebound from two awful starts when he takes the ball at Safeco Field, where he has been terrific this season.
Ramirez has allowed seven runs and 11 hits in each of his last two games, including in a 9-7 loss to Detroit on Tuesday.
“I don’t know what is going on,” said Ramirez, who lasted 5 2-3 innings. “I just know I have to make some kind of adjustment pretty quick.”
Ramirez, who was acquired from Atlanta in December, has won both of his home starts this season, giving up two runs in 12 1-3 innings.
The left-hander also won his only career start against the Yankees, allowing one run and seven hits in eight innings of a 5-2 win for the Braves on June 27.
Seattle has alternated wins and losses in its last six games. The Mariners have not been below the break-even mark since April 28 when they were 9-10.