After grabbing the last game from the Angels and expanding their lead in the American League East, the Yankees continue on their road trip with three games in Seattle.
The Yankees will be looking to beat Felix Hernandez (14-11, 3.15 ERA) for the first time in over three years. In order to do so, they will need to be efficient at the plate and have good pitching performances of their own.
At the plate, Robinson Cano has quietly put up a productive season and continues to drive in runs and get on base. Nick Swisher will be back in the lineup to add more depth to the line up as well as another hitter who takes pitches to build up the pitch count. Timely hitting and good base running will be needed to take advantage of the reigning Cy Young winner.
Joining Hernandez in the Seattle rotation for the three game series will be Charlie Furbush (3-8, 4.84 ERA) and Jason Vargas (8-13, 4.49 ERA). When the Yankees faced Vargas in two games this year they pummeled him for 12 hits, 14 runs (12 earned) in seven innings (they have yet to face Furbush this season).
Helping the Mariner pitchers will be All-Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and catcher Miguel Olivo. Rookies Trayvon Robinson, Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak add youth to an older Mariner line up. Olivo leads the team in home runs (17) and RBI (57) while Ichiro leads them in batting average (.275) and stolen bases (39). Keep an eye on Robinson as he brings speed and excitement to the Seattle line up.
Phil Hughes, AJ Burnett and Ivan Nova will be on the mound for the Pinstripes during their games in Seattle. All three starters had good starts the last time around with Hughes giving up two runs in six innings, Burnett gave up four in six innings and Nova went five innings giving up three runs. Another solid go around through the rotation will give the Yankees a hopeful projection as they head into the post season.
The Yankees will take two of three from the Mariners as they struggle with Hernandez again, but will take the last two games as they push their AL East lead ahead of the Red Sox.
NYYUniverse.com Staff Writer
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