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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 13th (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (15-20) at New York Yankees (19-14), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Kevin Millwood (0-4, 5.88) New York - Andy Pettitte (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Andy Pettitte will make his long-awaited return to the mound today as the New York Yankees aim to sweep the Seattle Mariners out of Yankee Stadium.
Pettitte (0-0) is set to make his first major league appearance since retiring after an 11-3 mark and a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts in 2010.
Although the soon-to-be 40-year-old left-hander sat out an entire season, Pettitte's debut has been highly anticipated. The three-time All-Star was a member of all five Yankees World Series title teams since 1996 and has more postseason wins than anyone else in major league history.
"I'm excited," Pettitte told the team's website. "So excited to just get back in uniform and get back with the guys and just hang with them on the bench and stuff like that. The fans' [support while I've been] making my starts down in the Minor Leagues, that's just been awesome. It's time now. I've got my pitch count up, and it's time to get up here and try to get going up here now."
The Yankees' current three-game winning streak has put them in position to potentially move into second place in the AL East with a win coupled by a Rays loss today against Baltimore, which leads the division.
Raul Ibanez has been a big part of New York's recent success. The veteran slugger is batting .409 with four home runs and nine RBI in the last five games. Ibanez has homered in both games of the series so far, including Saturday's 6-2 win. He hit a three-run blast in Friday's 6-2 victory.
"He's a professional hitter," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. "On that 3-2 count with the home run, he just sold out and was all in on a fastball. And he got a fastball up and didn't miss it. That's what professional hitters do, and he's a good one."
Jayson Nix made an impact in Saturday's game with a two-run homer in the second inning that gave the Yankees a comfortable advantage.
The Mariners will counter with their own veteran pitcher today, as Kevin Millwood (0-4) hopes to find more success than fellow starters Felix Hernandez and Hector Noesi.
Millwood has struggled early on this season. The 37-year-old comes in with a 5.88 ERA and has picked up a losing decision in each of his last four starts. Millwood is 2-7 with a 5.45 ERA in 14 career starts against the Yankees, while Pettitte has won four of his last five home starts versus Seattle.
The Mariners will try to get more run support today after being shut down by Phil Hughes on Saturday. Mike Carp made himself the lone bright spot in Seattle's lineup last night by driving in both runs with a double and a home run.
"I've been seeing the ball good all along. It just takes time," Carp said. "You're going to have your good days and your bad days. And today was a good day. Hopefully we've get a lot more of those coming and I get into a rhythm."
Seattle's historically reliable batter Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 at the plate on Saturday and has gone 4-for-20 over the course of his last six games, which has dropped his season batting average to a career low .288. His one hit on Saturday did move him into a tie for 99th on the major league's all-time list with Frank Thomas at 2,468.
The Mariners will be looking to avoid a sweep and snap an eight-game road losing streak.
The Yankees were 5-4 against Seattle last season.
New York is targeting its first sweep of the Mariners in the Bronx since May 23-25, 2008.
05/13 10:51:03 ET