The New York Yankees finished off their homestand with a 6-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners yesterday behind Freddy Garcia and a practically spotless bullpen effort.
Garcia, who was not exactly performing at his peak, or maybe this is his peak now, recorded the 150th win of his career. Take nothing away from Garcia, he continues to plug along and do just enough to either win or keep the Yankees in games since being returned to the rotation.
But yesterday, he was only able to go five innings and these short outings are going to become problematic for the Yankees. They are currently just three games into a twenty-game stretch without an off day. The competition they will face over the next seventeen days is far superior to that of the Mariners, so the Yankees have their work cut out for them.
The Yankees took the lead in the second inning after trading runs in the first. The Bombers extended the lead in the fourth on a RBI-single by Derek Jeter, but Garcia allowed a Jesus Montero run-scoring single in the top of the fifth which got Seattle back within one run.
The offense then received a boost from Raul Ibanez. He homered off Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma in the bottom half of the fifth. The solo blast was his third home run in his last eight games and fifteenth for the season. One inning later, Ibanez came up with the bases loaded after an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira and delivered a two-run single on a soft liner up the middle.
Boone Logan pitched two scoreless innings before giving way to the eighth and ninth inning tandem of David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. Robertson was in for the second straight game and in an interesting spot with the Yankees up by four runs and no threat in sight from Seattle.
Soriano on the other hand needed work despite the fact this was not a save opportunity. He had not pitched since July 29. Soriano did not look the least bit rusty retiring all three batters he faced.
The Yankees (63-44) maintain their 6 1/2 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles who once again shut out the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners (51-59) fell 8 games back in the AL wild card race.
The Bombers packed up their bags and headed to Motown for a four-game set with the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees send Ivan Nova (10-5, 4.53 ERA) to the mound to face Tigers ace Justin Verlander (11-7, 2.63 ERA). Nova was torched for nine runs in his last outing against the Orioles. Verlander, the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young award winner, is 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA in two starts versus the Yankees this season.
For more on the Detroit series, check back later this morning for the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show.