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Hughes, Yankees stroll past Mariners

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- The New York Yankees failed to score in eight of nine innings Thursday, and they had only one hit after the third inning.

Manager Joe Girardi shrugged off those numbers following his team's 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

"I don't care when we score six runs," he said. "If you get six runs a night, you're probably going to win a lot of games."

A six-run third inning and a strong outing by right-hander Phil Hughes allowed the Yankees to cruise to victory.

Hughes turned in one of his two best outings of the season, pitching seven-plus innings of three-hit ball. The only run he permitted came after he exited the game. Hughes (3-4) gave up a leadoff walk in the eighth, then watched from the dugout as Brendan Ryan scored on a Kyle Seager double off reliever Boone Logan.

"Everything was kind of working for me," said Hughes, who gave up seven hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Boston Red Sox his last time out. "We always talk about bounce-back outings; it was nice to have one today."

Hughes threw 111 pitches before turning the game over to the bullpen with a 6-0 lead. He struck out seven while walking two.

Robinson Cano hit a three-run home run to right field with one out in the third inning, and Mark Teixeira hit a 1-0 pitch over the fence in right-center on the next at-bat. The Yankees added four more consecutive hits in the rally, and they chased Seattle starter Aaron Harang (2-6) after 2 1/3 innings.

Harang gave up hits to seven consecutive batters in the third, and to eight of the nine batters he faced in that inning. After an Ichiro Suzuki single to left field scored Kevin Youkilis for a 6-0 lead, Harang was replaced by Blake Beavan.

"You're going to have those innings," Harang said. "I made a mistake at the wrong time with Cano, with runners on, and everything started to spiral out of control."

Beavan, who was called up from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day to add a fresh arm to the Mariners' bullpen, went on to retire 14 consecutive batters before Travis Hafner led off the eighth with a single.

Beavan ended up pitching the final 6 2/3 innings while allowing just a single hit. He bailed out a bullpen that used seven pitchers in a 16-inning game the previous day. He had been starting in Triple-A, where he threw 5 2/3 innings in his last outing six days earlier before having his Wednesday night start scratched because of the Mariners' 16-inning game that afternoon.

"Everybody keeps telling me: 'That was bigger than you realize,'" Beavan said. "I feel like I did my job. I went out and ate up innings and helped the guys in the bullpen."

Manager Eric Wedge was among those who were impressed.

"What we did see today was Blake Beavan as good as we've ever seen him, if not better," Wedge said. "He was tremendous."

Beavan started two games for the Mariners earlier this season before being sent to the bullpen for the first time in his career. He went on to post an 8.27 ERA in seven appearances before getting demoted to Triple-A on May 1.

"I feel a lot better about my stuff right now," Beavan said. "I went back to my old mechanics, and it was working for me tonight, so I'll stick with it."

Seattle (27-34) never really threatened after the six-run third, as Hughes kept the Mariners' bats at bay for most of the night. Seager's eighth-inning double put runners on second and third with one out, but Logan pitched his way out of that jam with back-to-back strikeouts.

Shawn Kelley pitched a scoreless ninth for New York.

The Yankees (35-25) have now won four consecutive games, while Seattle suffered its second consecutive loss.

NOTES: Girardi said before the game that 3B Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery) is ahead of SS Derek Jeter (ankle surgery) in terms of the recovery timetable. Rodriguez has been taking batting practice and doing some light running as he rehabs from offseason surgery. Girardi gave no target date for either player's return but said that Rodriguez is likely to be back sometime after the All-Star break. ... The Mariners optioned RHP Hector Noesi to Tacoma to clear a spot for Beavan. ... Harang has now faced every team in the league during his 11-year career. The 35-year-old right-hander had never faced the Yankees before Thursday's game. ... Harang's first-inning strikeout of Teixeira was the 1,500th of the pitcher's career. ... The Mariners selected University of New Mexico 3B DJ Peterson with the 12th overall pick in the draft. ... The Yankees had three first-round picks Thursday, selecting Notre Dame 3B Eric Jagielo at No. 26, Fresno State OF Aaron Judge at No. 32 and LHP Ian Clarkin out of Madison High School in San Diego with the 33rd and final pick of Round 1.
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