The Mariners wasted another outstanding start by Felix Hernandez and lost to the Yankees in New York 4-3 Tuesday night after taking a 3-0 lead, squandered by Seattle’s bullpen. Hernandez, matched against CC Sabathia in a duel of aces, allowed just one earned run on five hits over 6.0 innings before he was lifted because of a sore back.
The Mariners (18-21) couldn’t hold the lead, forged largely on a two-run homer by Raul Ibanez, and lost the first game of a nine-day, nine-game road trip. The Mariners and Yankees play Wednesday with Hisashi Iwakuma (4-1) opposing RHP Phil Hughes.
Hernandez suffered what the Mariner called a”minor” back injury when he made a throw to second base. As a precaution, manager Eric Wedge took him out before the seventh inning, and said later that Hernandez is not expected to miss his next start, against Cleveland.
“My back is a little tight, but I’ll be fine,” said Hernandez. “I’ll be ready for the next one.”
“He tweaked his back, but I didn’t want to take any chances,” said Wedge. “I wasn’t going to take any chances by sending him back out there.”
The Mariners went up 1-0 in the third when Michael Saunders reached on a fielding error and scored on a double by Kyle Seager. That lasted until the sixth, when the Mariners scored two runs on Ibanez’s two-run homer, his fourth of the year, that also scored Kelly Shoppach, who singled.
The Yankees got a run back in the sixth when Lyle Overbay’s double brought home Curtis Granderson, and won the game in the seventh by scoring three runs off Mariners relievers Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush.
Hernandez had eight strikeouts and two walks. Sabathia also had a good start. He allowed three earned runs on 10 hits, fanned 10 and walked two.
Former Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 and is now 0-for-16 in his past four games.