After the Seattle Mariners got a third straight complete game from one pitcher to earn a win over the New York Yankees, they will turn to another workhorse who has put together back-to-back nine-inning stints.
New York (47-29) returned home from a 4-2 road trip with a tough assignment in facing Cliff Lee(notes) and then Hernandez (5-5, 3.28 ERA). Lee went the distance for the third straight start, scattering eight hits in a 7-4 win Tuesday.
“Any time you go up against a tough guy like that, all you’re trying to do is get the barrel on it,” said Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher(notes), who went deep twice for his first multihomer game since Sept. 8.
The Yankees will be facing another tough guy to hit in Hernandez, who pitched a five-hitter in a 5-1 win over Cincinnati on June 19 before he allowed two runs in nine innings Thursday in a 3-2, 13-inning home loss to the Chicago Cubs.
The right-hander has pitched at least eight innings in five of his last six outings, going 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA in that span.
Hernandez has started once against the Yankees in each of his first five seasons, posting a 2-3 mark with a 4.59 ERA. Mark Teixeira(notes) (.306), Curtis Granderson(notes) (.360), Robinson Cano(notes) (5 for 13) and Derek Jeter(notes) (5 for 15) have all fared well against him.
New York’s AL East lead over Boston was cut to one game with the loss. The Yankees have still won six of nine.
Seattle (32-44) has won eight of 11, and is trying to win a road series for the first time since taking two of three at Kansas City from April 26-28.
The Mariners are last in the AL with 262 runs, but saw every starter get at least one hit Tuesday. Franklin Gutierrez(notes) homered and Ichiro Suzuki(notes) and Rob Johnson(notes) each had two hits and two RBIs.
“Offensively, I thought that it was one of the more efficient games that we have played this year,” manager Don Wakamatsu said.
The Yankees will start Javier Vazquez(notes) (6-6, 5.16), who went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his first four starts in June before allowing four runs over five innings Wednesday in a 6-5, 10-inning victory at Arizona.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his last three home starts, and 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six career outings against the Mariners.