After dropping a season-high four games in a row, the New York Yankees are in the midst of their first four-game winning streak of the season.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the turnaround is coming at the expense of the lowly Seattle Mariners.
The Yankees look to continue their dominance over the Mariners and sweep them for the second time in three weeks when they wrap up their three-game set Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
New York’s season seemed to be slipping away following Tuesday’s 12-2 loss to Baltimore, but it appears to be getting back on track thanks to its high-powered offense.
The Yankees (24-25) were outscored 35-10 during their four-game skid, but are outscoring their opponents 35-9 during their current run.
“It’s exciting to kind of turn the corner and get some of these hits to fall,” said Jason Giambi, who is batting .571 (8-for-14) with a homer, three RBIs and five runs during the winning streak. “We were kind of finding ways to lose every night. Now we’re playing good baseball.”
Of course, the fact they’re playing the Mariners (18-32) doesn’t hurt.
After pummeling Seattle 13-2 in Friday’s series opener, New York matched a season high with 16 hits in Saturday’s 12-6 victory.
The Yankees, who also swept the Mariners May 2-4 at Yankee Stadium, are outscoring them 44-12 in five games this season. They’ve also outscored Seattle 66-17 during a seven-game winning streak at Yankee Stadium.
Bobby Abreu had a two-run homer and finished with four RBIs on Saturday, and is 11-for-22 with eight RBIs in five games against Seattle this season.
The Mariners, meanwhile, have been outscored 55-22 during their third five-game skid of the season.
“We’re not playing good baseball,” said Seattle manager John McLaren, whose future is becoming increasingly uncertain. “The important thing is not to make excuses. You have to fight through it. We’re the only ones who can get us out of it.”
It won’t get any easier for the Mariners as they face Chien-Ming Wang (6-2, 3.51 ERA) on Sunday.
Wang has won all seven of his starts versus Seattle, posting a 2.39 ERA in those games. The right-hander allowed one run and three hits in six innings of a 5-1 win over the Mariners on May 2, and has compiled a 1.27 ERA in winning his three starts against them since the start of last season.
Wang hopes to get back on track after being tagged for seven runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings of an 11-2 loss to the New York Mets last Sunday.
The offense has supported Wang with only two total runs in his last three starts, but that shouldn’t be a problem versus the Mariners, as he’s been backed by an average of 8.63 runs in his seven outings against them.
Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre, who hit his 10th homer of the season Saturday, is just 3-for-18 (.167) with a home run and five strikeouts lifetime versus Wang.
The Mariners will turn to Jarrod Washburn (2-6, 6.99), who pitches on three days’ rest after a very short outing. He has had only three days off between starts twice in his career, going 0-0 with a 3.75 ERA.
In his first start since being demoted to the bullpen, Washburn yielded season highs of nine runs and 12 hits in just 2 1-3 innings of a 9-4 loss to Detroit on Wednesday. In his last two starts, the left-hander has been pounded for 16 runs and 20 hits in only 7 1-3 innings.
He went 1-2 with a 2.33 ERA in three starts against New York last season, and is 1-4 with a 2.78 ERA in five career starts at Yankee Stadium.
The Mariners, owners of the worst record in the AL, have dropped 12 of their last 13 on the road.