American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 12th (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (15-19) at New York Yankees (18-14), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Hector Noesi (2-3, 6.30) New York - Phil Hughes (2-4, 6.67)
(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees will try to stay hot as they host the Seattle Mariners in the second installment of a three-game series in the Bronx this afternoon.
The Mariners will try to bounce back after Friday night's 6-2 loss in the series opener with Felix Hernandez on the mound. Seattle hopes Hector Noesi (2-3) can do what its staff ace could not in the opener.
Noesi will be making his first appearance at Yankee Stadium wearing a visitors uniform. The young pitcher recorded 56 1/3 innings last season, mostly as a reliever, for the Yankees before being traded in January in a four-player deal.
"It's not like I'm really excited to come back because now I play for Seattle," Noesi told the Mariners' official website. "But (I'm) kind of a little excited."
Noesi is aiming to help Seattle end its current road losing streak, which grew to seven on Friday night. The former Yankee delivered a strong performance his list time out, surrendering only one run and three hits on Sunday in a 5-2 win over Minnesota at Safeco Field.
Seattle hung around with New York in the series opener on Friday before giving up its 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. The team's two runs on Friday came off solo home runs from Dustin Ackley and former Yankee Jesus Montero. Seattle struggled as a team in the contest, finishing 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-12 with men on base.
Montero was regarded as the Yankees' top offensive prospect for the last several years. His home run was his only hit in the last eight at-bats, but he had confidence in his first at-bat in the Bronx not wearing pin-stripes.
"I was thinking the whole time, right field, as soon as I stepped the first time to the plate tonight," said Montero. "Right field is right there. So I was trying to hit the ball over there every time. They were making a lot of good pitches, so it was a little tough, but I finally got it over there and hit that one pretty good."
Seattle's historically reliable hitter Ichiro Suzuki went hitless in four at- bats on Friday and has gone 3-of-16 at the plate over the course of his last five games, dropping his season batting average to a career low .272.
Suzuki's former teammate, Raul Ibanez, was the hero on Friday, as he knocked a go-ahead three-run homer out of the park in the sixth inning. New York manager Joe Girardi spoke of his outfielder's clutch hitting performance.
"Raul's a selective hitter," Girardi said. "But it was smart. He jumped on him."
Ibanez has been thriving lately and his big home run on Friday gave him three homers and six RBI over his last three games.
New York will have a chance to clinch its second straight series win tonight after taking 2-of-3 against the Rays. The Yankees grabbed the upper hand Friday as Hiroki Kuroda (3-4) outdueled 2010 Cy Young Award winner Hernandez.
"He gave us an outstanding performance tonight," Girardi said of Kuroda after the right-hander pitched seven strong innings.
All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano submitted his third straight multi-hit game as he went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate to raise his batting average to .308 for the season. Derek Jeter passed Willie Randolph for fifth place on the franchise's all-time walk list in the fifth inning on Friday with his 1,006th career free pass.
New York will rely on Phil Hughes (2-4) tonight and he picked up his second win of the season on Sunday in the team's 10-4 win over Kansas City. Hughes pitched a season-high 6 2/3 innings in the appearance in which he gave up three runs and six hits while striking out seven.
Hughes will try to build on his last outing and cement his position in the rotation as an existing spot is predicted to disappear when Andy Pettitte makes his expected return Sunday.
Hughes is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA in his career against the Mariners.
The Yankees were 5-4 against Seattle last season.
05/12 13:32:31 ET