M’s finally break through — Kyle Seager’s run-scoring double in the eighth finally has Seattle on the board. Seager has two well-struck hits, and along with Blake Beavan, is the only Mariner bright spot. It’s 6-1 after eight.
At least Beavan is a bright light — Through seven innings, the Yankees are holding onto the 6-0 lead they built entirely in the third inning, when they knocked Aaron Harang from the game. His replacement, Blake Beavan, just recalled from Tacoma to shore up a fatigued bullpen, has been spotless — well, at least until Travis Hafner led off the eighth with a single, the first hit off Beavan and the Yankees’ only hit in any other inning but the third.
M’s first rally nets nothing — Seattle’s first signs of life against Phil Hughes turned out to be more smoke than fire. The M’s, in their half of the sixth, got a walk to Brendan Ryan and a single from Kyle Seager. But Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales followed with popups to shortstop Jayson Nix, and the Yankees are still ruling, 6-0.
Nothing stirring offensively for M’s — Much as Seattle mucked through the first 13 innings against the White Sox Wednesday without a run, they haven’t done anything against Phil Hughes, either. Hughes has shut them down on two hits through five innings, and New York is breezing, 6-0.
Still Yanks by a six-pack — Blake Beavan has seemingly stemmed the tide for the M’s, but it’s likely way late to do any good, as they trail 6-0 in the middle of the fourth. After Phil Hughes set down the first eight M’s he faced, Brendan Ryan got a two-out single to right in the third. Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees are 38-2 when they get a three-run lead with Hughes on the mound. Wonder what they are when he enjoys a six-run lead?
6-0, Yankees, in the 3rd — Just as I was about to write that M’s manager Eric Wedge would try to get as many innings as he could out of struggling Aaron Harang, he must have realized that there are limits to every situation. Blake Beavan was recalled from Tacoma for precisely this purpose, long relief, and he might get a lot of it tonight, as no doubt Wedge is going to want to save a tired bullpen. the Yanks sent 11 men to the plate in the third and had eight hits, seven of them consecutive. New York catcher Austin Romine had the dubious distinction of making two outs in the inning. One more thing: There are a whole lot of Yankee fans in the house, enjoying the proceedings.
Yankee thunder — Without warning, Aaron Harang is gone, having given up seven straight hits and being lifted after a mere 2 1/3 innings in favor of newly-called-up Blake Beavan, with the M’s in a big 6-0 hole and the third inning still blazing for New York. Harang had allowed only a hit-by-pitch in the first two innings (my mistake earlier when I said NY went out 1-2-3 in the first). Leading off the third, shortstop Jayson Nix stung a sharp single to left, and with one out, Brett Gardner roped a perfect hit-and-run single to right center. Robinson Cano then pounded the first pitch he saw from Harang, a high fastball, for a homer to rightfield for a 3-0 Yankee lead. Mark Teixeira followed by tagging a fastball low in the zone for a longer homer to right-center and a four-run lead, and now Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis have added a bloop single and an off-field double, and Vernon Wells has dunked a single to right to score Hafner. Ichiro added the seventh straight hit of the inning, a liner to left over a drawn-in infield, and Harang is done for the night.
Ditto the 2nd — (Updated) Check that on the three-up, three-down thing. Robinson Cano was plunked above the knee on a pitch in the first, so there has been a baserunner. Nothing in the way of a hit yet as Aaron Harang and Phil Hughes have each set down six straight. Michael Morse, in his first at-bat after a seven-game hiatus due to a quad strain, struck out on a breaking pitch from Hughes. In the top half of the inning, Ichiro, getting polite applause from the crowd, flied to rightfield.
Scoreless after 1 — Both sides went out in order in the first, Aaron Harang striking out Mark Teixeira and Travis Hafner to end the Yankees’ half. Phil Hughes has already made it longer than he did in his lamentable May 15 start in New York against the M’s, when he lasted only 2/3 of an inning, shortest of his career, and allowed seven earned runs.
Hey folks, as they say, it’s a beautiful night out for baseball, not that the M’s didn’t play a lot of it Wednesday against the White Sox. The Times shot the bullpen in the 16-inning, 7-5 Chicago win a day ago, so they called me, Bud Withers, up from Class AA to cover this one. I’m guessing it’s in the low-to-mid 70s nearing first pitch here, with the faintest of breezes.