New York (55-31) at Seattle (34-52)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Seattle, WA
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Sat Jul 10, 2010
  • TV: YES, FSNW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Yankees may have caught a break by not having to face Cliff Lee(notes) in this series, but Saturday night they’ll still have to face the last starter to beat them.

The Yankees hope to extend their season-high winning streak to eight when they take on Felix Hernandez(notes) and try to hand the punchless Seattle Mariners a sixth straight loss.

New York (55-31) had been slated to face Lee on Friday, but Seattle (34-52) dealt the ace left-hander to Texas before the game along with reliever Mark Lowe(notes) for rookie first baseman Justin Smoak(notes) and three minor leaguers. The Yankees had also been interested in Lee, and reportedly had a deal in place.

“It was a pleasure to have (Lee) here. We all wish things would have gone a little better,” Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “We felt we were at the point where something had to be done for the long-term good of the organization.”

The Yankees may not have obtained Lee, but eventually took advantage of facing emergency starter David Pauley(notes) in a 6-1 victory. Mark Teixeira(notes) homered from both sides of the plate and Phil Hughes(notes) threw seven solid innings to become the third New York starter to reach 11 victories.

“It’s one of those times where I’m seeing the ball well from both sides, and I’m not having to fight one side or the other,” Teixeira said.

New York has not won eight in a row since a nine-game run May 13-21, 2009.

Seattle - last in the AL with 292 runs - has scored 11 during its five-game skid.

While the Mariners are clearly rebuilding, Hernandez (6-5, 3.01 ERA) is now the unquestioned ace. He has certainly pitched like one over his last five outings, going 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA.

One of his victories in that span was a two-hitter in a 7-0 rout of New York on June 30, when he struck out a season-high 11.

“He’s as good as we’ve seen all year,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game.

The right-hander improved to 3-3 with a 3.61 ERA in six career starts against New York, with two straight complete-game victories. Hernandez lasted seven innings Monday and yielded two runs in a 6-4, 10-inning loss to Kansas City.

Yankee hitters Teixeira (.308) and Curtis Granderson(notes) (.321) have solid averages against Hernandez, but Alex Rodriguez(notes) - still three homers shy of 600 - is 2 for 10 with no homers.

Javier Vazquez(notes) (7-7, 4.81) will oppose Hernandez again. The right-hander gave up three runs in six innings of the June 30 loss, falling to 4-3 with a 4.37 ERA in seven career starts against the Mariners.

He ended a three-start winless stretch in Monday’s 3-1 victory at Oakland to open this trip, yielding one run over seven innings. Vazquez has lasted exactly seven innings in five of his last seven outings.

“I feel like if I go out there and throw quality innings, then I’m going to go deep in the games,” he told the Yankees’ official website. “That’s always important as a starting pitcher, that you can go deep.”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Vazquez Mia vs. F. Hernández Sea
10-10 Record 13-12
5.32 ERA 2.27
121 K 232
65 BB 70
1.40 WHIP 1.06

Scoreboard

Saturday, Jul 10