Cliff Lee(notes) was hours away from getting another chance to dominate the New York Yankees before being traded to the Texas Rangers. Instead, David Pauley(notes) will try to help the Seattle Mariners halt the defending champions’ six-game winning streak Friday night.
Seattle sent Lee and reliever Mark Lowe(notes) to the AL West-leading Rangers on Friday for first baseman Justin Smoak(notes) and three minor leaguers. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner went 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts for the Mariners, who acquired him from the Philadelphia Phillies in December.
The Mariners, who have lost four in a row, were expected to contend for the West title but are 16 games out.
Pauley has made three relief appearances for the Mariners this season, allowing three hits in four scoreless innings. He is 0-3 with a 9.78 ERA in five career starts, his last coming against the Yankees on Sept. 26, 2008, when he gave up seven runs and six hits in 2 2-3 innings of a 19-8 loss while with Boston.
The Mariners fell 3-1 in the opener of this four-game set Thursday.
New York has won a season high-tying six in a row and a season-best five in a row on the road. The Yankees lead the East by two games over Tampa Bay.
Hughes, one of three members of the rotation with at least 10 victories, surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-4 loss to Seattle on June 29. His next start was also a struggle, as he gave up five runs while serving up three homers in six innings of a 7-6, 10-inning win over Toronto on Sunday.
“My arm has kind of fallen, and I had a tendency to push the ball the last couple of starts,” Hughes told the Yankees’ official website.
A start on the road could help Hughes, as he is 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 38 2-3 innings over six outings.
The right fielder is hitting .425 with three homers over the last 10 games and backed up his first All-Star nod by collecting four hits Thursday.
Alex Rodriguez(notes) came up big in this series opener, driving in Derek Jeter(notes) and Swisher in the top of the ninth to break a tie and celebrate the 16th anniversary of his major league debut with Seattle.
“We have confidence that we were going to come up with the big hit,” said Rodriguez, who has 15 RBIs in eight games this month.