Yankees-Mariners Preview

The Associated PressJune 10, 2014

The New York Yankees are searching for offense, and running into the Seattle Mariners doesn't bode well.

The Mariners are 3-0 against the Yankees and their pitchers have worked 19 consecutive scoreless innings heading into Tuesday night's opener of a three-game home series.

Hisashi Iwakuma (4-2, 2.66 ERA) will get the ball for Seattle (34-29), which has posted a 1.91 ERA in winning eight of nine.

"Our last seven or eight starts have been pretty darn good. Our starters have given us everything we've asked them and probably a little bit more," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "With that our bullpen is even better."

That's bad news for Yankees manager Joe Girardi, whose team is mired in a 3-7 stretch in which it has failed to score more than four runs in any game.

"The one thing you can't do is you can't necessarily change everything," Girardi said. "You look at what guys have done in the past, you look at what guys are doing this year, and you try to piece together what you feel is the best lineup every day.

"We've struggled the last three or four weeks scoring runs. We know we need to score more, but guys are going through a time. You just have to ride it out a little bit."

The only real production the Yankees are getting from the middle of the order has come from Jacoby Ellsbury, who is batting .385 during a 13-game hitting streak.

New York (31-31) has totaled seven runs while striking out 31 times in losing all three home meetings with Seattle.

Perhaps the Yankees can get some insight on Iwakuma from Masahiro Tanaka, his former teammate with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Tanaka was originally scheduled to oppose his good friend, but his start was pushed back to Wednesday since New York was rained out in Kansas City on Monday.

Iwakuma is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts against the Yankees. Derek Jeter is 4 for 6 against him while former Mariners great Ichiro Suzuki - playing possibly his final series in Seattle - is 1 for 8.

The right-hander turned in seven brilliant innings Wednesday to earn a 2-0 victory at Atlanta and avoid a third straight defeat.

The Yankees turn to Vidal Nuno (1-2, 5.33), who is winless in his last five starts after surrendering two runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings while not receiving a decision in Wednesday's 7-4 loss to Oakland. He has never faced Seattle.

The left-hander will be making his 10th start since joining the rotation and had made it through at least six innings in his previous three. He's 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA as a starter, going 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three away from Yankee Stadium.

The Mariners start an eight-game homestand after Monday's 3-0 win over Tampa Bay capped a 6-1 trip. Former Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano had a two-run double that ended a seven-game drought without an RBI, although he has hit safely in his last seven games.

First baseman Justin Smoak (sore left leg) and outfielder Michael Saunders (sore right shoulder) have not started the last three games but could be back Tuesday.