The New York left-hander looks for a third consecutive victory while trying to help the Yankees match a season high with their sixth straight win Thursday night against the Mariners at Safeco Field.
Pettitte (10-2, 2.82 ERA) has enjoyed a strong first half and was rewarded when his manager and AL All-Star skipper Joe Girardi added him to the squad to replace injured Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz(notes).
It is the third All-Star selection for the 38-year-old Pettitte and his first since 2001. He won for the fifth time in six decisions Saturday, allowing three runs in six innings of an 11-3 victory over Toronto.
“He’s just been real consistent in his mechanics,” Girardi told the Yankees’ official website. “It’s not how hard you throw it, it’s where you throw it and how you change speeds, and how you locate. He’s been outstanding this year.”
Pettitte has not been outstanding against the Mariners, going 10-11 with a 4.51 ERA. He is 2-3 in his last six starts versus Seattle, but has a 2.76 ERA during that span.
Though the AL East-leading Yankees (53-31) dropped two of three at home to Seattle last week, they have won four straight on the road and 10 of 13 away from the Bronx.
Mark Teixeira(notes) hit a three-run homer and Nick Swisher(notes) had three hits as New York capped a sweep of Oakland with a 6-2 win Wednesday. Teixeira has two homers and eight RBIs in his last five games.
One night after hitting two home runs, former Mariner Alex Rodriguez(notes) went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Wednesday. Sitting on 597 homers, Rodriguez has hit 32 in 108 games against the Mariners since leaving Seattle after the 2000 season.
Swisher, who will find out Thursday if he is added to the AL All-Star roster, is 8 for 17 in his last four games.
The Mariners (34-50) look to avoid a fourth straight loss after being swept at home by Kansas City. Casey Kotchman(notes) homered twice and drove in all of Seattle’s runs in a 7-3 loss to the Royals on Wednesday.
The Mariners are 1-6 in July after opening the month with a 4-2 loss to the Yankees.
The left-hander allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-1 loss at Detroit on Saturday. Vargas has given up nine runs and 15 hits over 9 1-3 innings in his last two outings.
“I feel fine,” Vargas told the Mariners’ official website. “We’ve still got a long way to go, so I better be OK.”
Returning home could help Vargas, who is 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA in nine starts at Safeco.
In his only start against New York, Vargas allowed four runs in four innings and didn’t receive a decision in an 8-4 win at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2009.