Felix Hernandez just blew a called third strike by Robinson Cano to end the sixth inning with a 6-0 lead. Hernandez gave up a two-out single to A-Rod — only his third hit allowed — but has now lowered his ERA to 2.54, tying with Trevor Cahill of Oakland for second-best in the AL.
Russell Branyan provided a sixth Seattle homer with his second blast of the game off A.J. Burnett in the top of the frame. The 14th multi-homer game for Branyan, first as a Mariner.
5:57 p.m.: Felix Hernandez just struck out the last two batters to end the fifth inning with the bases loaded. Hernandez is still up 5-0 as we begin the sixth, having yielded just two hits.
New York loaded ’em up on two walks and a Nick Swisher single. But Hernandez made Ramiro Pena look foolish on an 0-2 pitch before whiffing Brett Gardner as well.
His ERA is now down to 2.55. That’s just behind Trevor Cahill at 2.54. Clay Buchholz is at 2.36, but won’t win the Cy Young because he hasn’t pitched enough.
5:26 p.m.: Tell you what, if the Yankees blow the AL East to the Rays, they might wind up looking back at some of these games played here in New York against the Mariners. Seattle took two of three here the last time and is now ahead 5-0 midway through the fourth.
Bloop hits by Matt Tuiasosopo and Josh Wilson, followed by a one-out single from Chone Figgins, just plated the fifth Seattle run against A.J. Burnett. Fans here not happy with him and are letting him know it.
The M’s got a run in the third inning when Franklin Gutierrez had a two-out single, stole second and scored on a Casey Kotchman single.
Felix Hernandez? Zero hits, one walk allowed through three innings.
4:44 p.m.: Seattle had a chance to add to its lead in the second inning, but with runners at the corners and only one out — after singles by Josh Wilson and Ichiro — Chone Figgins grounded into a double-play.
Felix Hernandez began the game with a strikeout that got by Adam Moore for what was ruled a wild pitch. Could have been a passed ball. But Hernandez got the DP grounder from Derek Jeter after that and then a Mark Teixeira comebacker to end the frame.
And yes, to correct the earlier post, A-Rod is indeed playing. He’s tonight’s DH, since he’s just coming off the calf injury.
4:24 p.m.: One of those nights for the home team, looks like. Seattle leads 3-0 after Ichiro led off with a single up the middle. Chone Figgins walked, both pulled off a double steal and then Russell Branyan unloaded a liner into the bullpen in right center on a 2-1 pitch.
Even the first out the Yankees recorded, on a Jose Lopez strikeout, catcher Francisco Cervelli nearly killed himself running over a bat in the on-deck circle trying to catch a foul pop-up. Cervelli went down in a heap. Given the new lease on life, Lopez, who works very hard, you should know, went down swinging.
4:05 p.m.: Felix Hernandez tries to stake a claim to be included in the Cy Young Award race here on baseball’s grandest stage. He’s thrown three consecutive complete games against the Yankees heading into tonight. And he’s better than his mound opponent, A.J. Burnett. Both guys bring a ton of heat.
Alex Rodriguez hasn’t played the last three games and won’t tonight. He has a strained left calf and is day-to-day. So, the M’s catch a huge break there. Actually, scratch that, he’s in the lineup tonight. Guess it’s not a good break.
2B Chone Figgin
DH Russell Branyan
3B Jose Lopez
CF Franklin Gutierrez
1B Casey Kotchman
C Adam Moore
LF Matt Tuiasosopo
SS Josh Wilson
RHP Felix Hernandez
LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
1B Mark Teixiera
DH Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
CF Curtis Granderson
C Francisco Cervelli
3B Ramiro Pena
RHP A.J. Burnett