Yankee Stadium is a difficult place to play, and that is where Seattle started their second 10 game road trip in 10 days. The Mariners won the series finale on Sunday, escaping New York losing two out of three. Seattle started their last road trip by winning the first four (three against Detroit and one against Toronto) but was unable to duplicate that against the Bronx Bombers even with ace Felix Hernandez on the mound Friday night. The good news is that despite losing two out of three the Mariners remained out of last place in the A.L. West, a spot they have yet to occupy this season. They stand at 4 games under .500, 16-20, and a half-game over the Angels.
Good News: It was an emotional day Sunday as Andy Pettitte came out of retirement to make his first start of the season, but Kevin Millwood answered the bell for Seattle. Millwood was winless on the season, and he was moved up in the rotation to give extra rest to Blake Beavan, who was hit on the arm with a line drive last Monday. The veteran righty notched his first win for Seattle tying a season high by going 7.0 IP while allowing one earned run on three hits with six strike outs. The six fanned batters were his most since striking out seven Rangers on April 11th. Casper Wells, in his first start in the series on Sunday, sparked the offense going 2-for-4 with a home run off Pettitte in the sixth inning to give Seattle some breathing room and knocked in 3 RBI. Jesus Montero, in his first return to Yankee Stadium as a member of the opposition, homered Friday night and went 2-for-10 in the series with two runs scored.
Bad News: The Mariners after giving up only nine runs to the Tigers in taking two of three in Seattle gave up fourteen runs in dropping two of three to the Yankees, including six runs in each defeat. Felix Hernandez was unable to keep the potent Yankee offense under wraps in the series opener on Friday allowing 11 hits and 4 ER in 6.2 IP including a three-run home run to former Mariner Raul Ibanez. Ibanez then continued his tear with another home run off Hector Noesi Saturday powering a four-run second inning and a lead the Yankees never surrendered. Noesi settled down after the second and ended up with 7.0 IP allowing six hits and five ER. He fell to 2-4 on the season with a 6.32 ERA.
On the Horizon: Seattle will keep playing teams from the A.L. East when they stop in Boston for two games. Both teams enter the series at 4 games under .500; Seattle at 16-20, Boston at 15-19. In the middle of a six game home stand, Boston opened their stand by taking three of four from the Cleveland Indians including a 12-1 thrashing yesterday. The Mariners will see two quality pitchers who have struggled in 2012: Jon Lester (1-3, 4.29) on Monday and Josh Beckett (2-4, 5.97) on Tuesday. Seattle will counter with the red-hot Jason Vargas, coming off allowing 1 ER in 8.0 IP in a win over the Tigers, and Blake Beavan. Beavan was supposed to start Sunday, but he was moved back to allow some more recouping time from being hit by a line drive against Detroit.