Mariners-Yankees Preview

The Associated Press

The best efforts of one former New York Yankees prospect could not help the Seattle Mariners end their current road skid.

Another is ready to give it a shot.

Ex-Yankee Hector Noesi aims to earn his first win away from home and help the Mariners avoid an eighth straight road loss Saturday against the Yankees.

Catcher Jesus Montero, who had four homers and 13 RBIs in 19 regular season and playoff games with New York in 2011, hit one of Seattle's two home runs in Friday's 6-2 series-opening loss. The Yankees dealt Montero and Noesi to Seattle in a four-player offseason trade that brought All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda - now out for the season with a shoulder injury - to New York.

Montero is batting .267 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 30 games, but his solo shot Friday is his only hit in eight at-bats over his last three contests.

Noesi (2-3, 6.30 ERA), who went 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games - two starts - for the Yankees during his 2011 rookie season, has struggled with consistency in Seattle. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA in three road starts, but is looking forward to taking the mound in the Bronx, where he went 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 14 appearances - one start - for the Yankees in 2011.

"It's not like I'm really excited to come back because now I play for Seattle," Noesi told the Mariners' official website. "But (I'm) kind of a little excited."

Noesi allowed a solo home run and three other hits Sunday while striking out five in seven innings of a 5-2 home win over major league-worst Minnesota.

"I felt like he just continued what we'd seen the last couple starts, doing a good job commanding his fastball, reaching out front and really finishing off his pitches and using all his secondary stuff," manager Eric Wedge said.

Noesi will now try to help Seattle (15-19) end its longest losing streak away from home since a 13-game road skid that concluded with a 9-2 win at Yankee Stadium last July 27 - a victory that also snapped a 17-game overall losing streak.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano had four hits Friday, improving to 11 for 21 with seven RBIs in his last five games against the Mariners. He's batting .444 with eight RBIs in his last nine contests overall.

Former Mariners outfielder Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer for New York in the series opener, giving him three home runs and six RBIs over his last three games.

Seeking their sixth win in eight games, the Yankees (18-14) hope scheduled starter Phil Hughes (2-4, 6.67) can build on his longest outing - and likely his best - of 2012.

The right-hander, who had allowed eight runs over 8 1-3 innings while losing his previous two starts, yielded three runs and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings of a 10-4 victory at Kansas City on Sunday.

It marked only the second time Hughes allowed three runs or fewer this season, and the first time he lasted through the sixth inning. The effort was probably enough keep him in the rotation even after Andy Petttitte's scheduled return to the mound Sunday.

"If I continue to pitch well and throw well, I'm sure I'll gain more trust," Hughes told the Yankees' official website. "That's what it's all about."

Hughes is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA in five career starts versus Seattle.

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