The Mariners snapped a two-game losing streak Friday with a 4-1 win over New York. Joe Saunders will pitch for Seattle Saturday against lefty Andy Pettitte.
GAME: Yankees (35-26, 2nd, AL East, -2.0 GB) at Mariners (27-35, 3rd, AL West, -10.5 GB). GAME #: 63. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING: 6th (Mariners lead 3-2). WHEN: Saturday, 1:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Yankees L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Yankees left hander Andy Pettitte doesn’t quite have Hall of Fame numbers — 249 wins, 3.86 ERA, 1.35 WHIP in 18 major league seasons, but he has an impressive .632 winning percentage and three All-Star appearances to his credit. Pettitte also won the 2001 ALCS Most Valuable Player award when he, more than anyone, denied the 116-win Mariners their one big chance of reaching the World Series.
Oddly, for all of his accomplishments, the 41-year-old is a career loser against Seattle with an 11-13 record and 4.37 ERA in 25 career starts. To reach career win No. 250 and approach the .500 mark against Seattle, Pettitte needs to beat Joe Saunders Saturday, a tough assignment. Saunders is 4-1, 2.25 ERA in six Safeco Field starts this season and 10-1, 2.18 for his career.
Pettitte, who lost to the Mariners May 16 at Yankee Stadium, faces a Seattle team that had a bit of a confidence boost Friday by beating New York 4-1, snapping a two-game losing streak. All of Seattle’s offense came in one stretch of the fourth inning when six straight batters reached base, capped by clutch hits from Brendan Ryan and Jason Bay.
The Mariners entered the game hitting .221 with runners in scoring position, but capitalized on the few chances they had against Hiroki Kuroda. Jeremy Bonderman did the rest, throwing six sharp innings and winning for the first time in three years.
Speaking of chances, the Yankees have scored in just two of the 18 innings to open this four-game series. New York scored all six of its runs Thursday in the third inning, then was blanked after the first Friday. Saunders could use some of that Saturday. A closer look:
MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (4-5, 5.20 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)
The 31-year-old Saunders, a Fairfax, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, makes his 13th start and first against the Yankees. Saunders has a win and a loss in his past two starts, but has allowed just two earned runs with 10 strikeouts in those outings. Saunders has pitched into the seventh inning in six of his 12 starts and brings a 10-1, 2.18 career record at Safeco Field into the game.
YANKEES: LHP Andy Pettitte (4-3, 4.17 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
The 41-year-old Pettitte, in his 18th major league season and 15th with the Yankees, will make his 10th start and second against the Mariners. Pettitte, who lost to the Mariners 3-2 May 16 in New York, didn’t pitch again until June 3 after facing Seattle due to a stint on the disabled list (strained muscle in throwing shoulder). Pettitte has worked into the seventh inning four times. He had a 10-strikeout game against Tampa Bay April 24.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|6/8||Sat||vs. NYY||LHP Joe Saunders (4-5) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (4-3)|
|6/9||Sun||vs. NYY||RHP Felix Hernandez (7-4) vs. RHP David Phelps (3-3)|
|6/10||Mon||vs. Hou||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-1) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-2)|
|6/11||Tue||vs. Hou||RHP Aaron Harang (2-6) vs. RHP Bud Norris (5-4)|
|6/12||Wed||vs. Hou||RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (3-1)|