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Morning Bits 6/6/11

Another win yesterday.  Today is an off day before the Yankees start there home stand Tuesday.

And here are your morning links.

* A-rod is being looked at again by MLB with his relationship with a Canadian Doctor.
 
* The Yankees are in a waiting game when the 2011 draft starts because of getting Soriano.
 
* Derek Jeter is eyeing getting his 3,000 hit on this home stand.
 
 
 
 
 
Remember check back throughout the day for new threads.  Also leave some comments to get some good Yankee discussion going.  Enjoy the day everyone.
 
EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10
NY Yankees 33 24 .579 - 17-13 16-11 293 222 +71 Won 2 7-3
Boston 33 26 .559 1 19-13 14-13 290 262 +28 Won 3 6-4
Tampa Bay 30 29 .508 4 14-16 16-13 243 237 +6 Lost 1 4-6
Toronto 30 29 .508 4 15-14 15-15 290 262 +28 Won 1 6-4
Baltimore 26 31 .456 7 16-16 10-15 229 274 -45 Lost 1 3-7
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NYY @ LAA – 6/4/11

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Brett Gardner LF

Pitchers:

C.C. Sabathia (6-3, 2.98) vs. Ervin Santana (3-4, 4.34)

Don’t know particularly why they’re going with a 9PM EST start time on a Saturday, but enjoy the game.

Afternoon Notes: Pitching, Nova, Injury News (or lack of), Angels

Good afternoon all. Here are some mid afternoon links.

  • According to Joel Sherman, “Pitching will be primary target as Yankees seek to upgrade roster”. Here are some snip-its from the article:

“We are a championship-caliber-contending team with areas of need that I need to work on,” general manager Brian Cashman said in assessing the first third of the season. “We are going to have to continue to look for ways to improve our pitching.”

From all I have heard, the Yankees currently do not imagine pursuing a significant bat between now and July 31 (so we can close the Carlos Beltran rumors for a bit). Instead, they see signs of life up and down the order everywhere but from Jorge Posada. And they feel that if the DH ultimately has to be changed that could come internally from Eric Chavez getting healthy, Jesus Montero being promoted or Eduardo Nunez playing the field more to allow Alex Rodriguez, in particular, to DH more frequently.

Cashman badly wants to add a lefty reliever because the farm system does not have many (if any) options. But it could be the Yankees will just have to wait to see if Feliciano and, perhaps late in the year, Damaso Marte can return.

Thus, for the next third of the season Cashman will — as expected — be fixed on upgrading his rotation, although the Yankees currently are the only AL East team with four qualified starters (CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett) with ERAs below 4.00.

“Overall, the pitching is going to be the defining thing for us,” Cashman said. “The pitching has excelled, but it is not wise or prudent to sit back and try not to reinforce and improve on it.”

  • From Lohud, Joe Girardi has said that Ivan Nova’s job is not on the line tonight. Article HERE. This may be what Girardi said…but I wouldn’t say that Nova’s job security is too good right now. He has been very inconsistent, and much less consistent than he needs to be.
  • Also via Lohud: According to Brian Cashman, there is no new news regarding injured Yankees. This isn’t a great sign, but at least there hasn’t been any new bad news.
  • If you didn’t hear already, the Angels flight from Kansas City to Orange County had to make an emergency landing late Wednesday night. Here’s an article on it from the LA Times.

Have a good afternoon. Really nice weather today. Hopefully you can get outside and enjoy it.

NYY @ OAK – 6/1/11

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez 3B

Pitchers:

A.J. Burnett (5-3, 3.99) vs. Gio Gonzalez (5-2, 2.17)

Enjoy the game.

NYY @ OAK – 5/31/11

Lineups:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Brett Gardner LF

Pitchers:

Freddy Garcia (3-4, 3.26) vs. Brett Anderson (3-4, 2.84)

 

Gotta love the 10:05 PM start on a week-day. Not really.

Martin to Play Today?

Here’s the latest as of 7:28 PM yesterday on Martin, from Lohud. There hasn’t been any talk about his ability to play tonight’s game, today. I’m sure we’ll know, closer to game time.

About three weeks ago, a batted ball hit Russell Martin in the left foot during batting practice. It bothered him for a while, got better, and Saturday night he fouled a ball off the exact same spot, right on the big toe.

It bothered him yesterday, and it was still bothering him after stretch this afternoon. Joe Girardi decided to give Martin another day off, but the Yankees believe they could have their regular catcher back in the lineup tomorrow.

“My hope is he’s available,” Girardi said.

Colon Dominates A’s in 5-0 Victory

Game recap from MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

OAKLAND — The Yankees had absolutely no expectations for Bartolo Colon when he arrived in camp this spring, but by now they’ve figured this out: When he’s on, expect plenty of zeroes.

Colon again recaptured his old form on Monday, dominating the Athletics for nine scoreless innings as the Yankees posted a 5-0 victory at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

The A’s lineup seemed to be consistently flailing at everything the 37-year-old Colon fired their way, as the right-hander limited Oakland to just four hits while striking out six.

Wearing Stars & Stripes Memorial Day caps in the field, the Yankees provided Colon with all of the support he’d need in the first inning, getting to Trevor Cahill for three runs.

Derek Jeter led off the game with a single, his 2,981st career hit. The captain was aboard when Mark Teixeira homered for the fourth time in five games — a two-run shot to right field, his 16th.

Robinson Cano followed an Alex Rodriguez walk with a run-scoring double to right-center field before being cut down on an outfield assist rounding second base.

Against an Oakland lineup that has less homers (30) than Teixeira and Curtis Granderson (16) combined, the lead held up, even as Cahill settled in and limited the Yankees to just one hit over the next six innings.

With Cahill’s pitch count climbing in the seventh, the Yankees manufactured a fourth run. Brett Gardner walked, stole second, executed a double steal with Francisco Cervelli and scored on a Jeter sacrifice fly.

Cahill allowed four runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking five and striking out two before yielding to Craig Breslow.

Working efficiently, Colon allowed only a second-inning Josh Willingham double that struck the wall in right-center field and then a sixth-inning Kevin Kouzmanoff single. Kurt Suzuki had an infield single in the eighth and was promptly erased on a double play, while Cliff Pennington hit a leadoff double in the ninth.

It was a solid bounce-back for Colon, who was commanding two starts ago on May 18 over eight scoreless innings in Baltimore but allowed a season-high six runs to the Blue Jays on May 23. It was Colon’s first complete game since July 5, 2006, when he was a member of the Angels.

Boxscore:

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
NYY
3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1   5 7 0
OAK
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 4 0

 

NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, SS 3 1 1 1 1 0 2 .259
Granderson, CF 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .276
Teixeira, 1B 4 1 1 2 0 1 1 .258
Rodriguez, Al, 3B 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 .277
Cano, 2B 4 0 2 1 0 0 0 .284
Posada, DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 .169
Swisher, RF 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .212
1-Dickerson, PR-RF 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .308
Gardner, LF 3 1 1 0 1 0 1 .255
Cervelli, C 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 .200
Totals 30 5 7 5 5 5 8 .253
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Colon(W, 3-3) 9.0 4 0 0 0 6 0 3.26
Totals 9.0 4 0 0 0 6 0 3.56

NYY @ OAK – 5/30/11

UPDATE, 3:18 PM EST: Martin has been scratched from the lineup with a sore toe. Here’s the new lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF
Francisco Cervelli C

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF

Pitchers:

Bartolo Colon (2-3, 3.77) vs. Trevor Cahill (6-2, 2.02)

Series Preview: NYY @ OAK – 5/30/11-6/1/11

5/30/11: Bartolo Colon (2-3, 3.77) vs. Trevor Cahill (6-2, 2.02)

Against the Blue Jays, Colon pitched five strong innings but faltered in the sixth. A five-run explosion, fueled by three walks — two intentional — led to his third loss of the season. He struck out eight in defeat but walked four overall.

Cahill wasn’t at his best in his last start, giving up back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning to the Angels. He lasted six innings, scattered 10 hits and five walks while being tagged for four runs (three earned) and just his second loss.

5/31/11: Freddy Garcia (3-4, 3.26) vs. Brett Anderson (3-4, 2.84)

Garcia looks to string together back-to-back wins after defeating the Blue Jays with 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball on May 25. The veteran has allowed three runs or fewer in three of his last four starts.

Anderson was dominant against the Angels in his last outing. He tossed a three-hit shutout over eight innings and struck out four batters en route to the win. He has allowed just four runs combined in his last three starts.

6/1/11: A.J. Burnett (5-3, 3.99) vs. Gio Gonzalez (5-2, 2.17)

Burnett ran out of steam after needing 97 pitches to grind through five innings against the Mariners on May 27, tying a season high with five walks. He completed the month of May 1-2 with a 4.06 ERA, logging quality starts in three of five outings.

Gonzalez didn’t earn a decision the last time out, but saw his stellar May come to an end after five innings in which he gave up two runs, fanned seven and walked five. For the month, he was 3-0 and struck out at least six in all five of his starts.

Pitcher Probables/Previews from MLB.com’s Gameday.

Hughes Update

We need ya Phil!

Here’s the latest on Phil Hughes from Lohud:

He threw a 30-pitch bullpen this morning. The first 20 pitches were fastballs. The last 10 were a mix of four fastballs, three changeups and three curveballs. He said everything went as planned, no problems and no pain.

“No news is good news,” he said.

Larry Rothschild said the only thing set in stone is that Hughes will take two days off and throw another bullpen on Wednesday. Hughes said he believes he could throw batting practice this coming weekend in Anaheim.

 

Sabathia Strong in 7-1 Victory in Seattle

From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

SEATTLE — The Yankees had been unable to spark anything against the Mariners’ bullpen all weekend, so they left nothing to chance on Sunday, getting to the starting pitcher instead.

New York battered Jason Vargas for six runs in the first three innings, offering CC Sabathia plenty of cushion as they cruised to a 7-1 victory at Safeco Field, salvaging the finale of a three-game series.

Seattle’s relievers had fired nine scoreless innings in the first two games of the set, including five after Felix Hernandez was knocked out of Saturday’s extra-inning affair.

Hours later, the Yankees pounced on Vargas, using five hits and four walks to chase the left-hander early on an afternoon when every Bombers starter would log at least one hit.

Nick Swisher started the offense with a second-inning homer, his third, and New York batted around in a five-run third inning that saw each run cross the plate with two outs.

Andruw Jones had the big hit in the frame, clearing the bases with a three-run double to right field. Robinson Cano also had an RBI single, and Eduardo Nunez knocked in Jones with his first career triple.

On the way to his third consecutive winning start, Sabathia had no problems with the output.

The left-hander held the Mariners scoreless into the sixth inning, when he fell behind Justin Smoak. Challenging the first baseman with a 3-1 fastball, Sabathia lost his shutout bid as Smoak’s drive landed beyond the left-field fence.

Otherwise, Sabathia was stellar, pitching out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth inning by getting Ichiro Suzuki to bounce back to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play.

The run support should have been nothing new for Sabathia, who is following the Phil Hughes trend from last season — entering play on Sunday, Sabathia’s support average of 7.63 runs per game was the second most in the Major Leagues.

Mark Teixeira added an RBI single in the fourth off Jeff Gray for the Yankees, who have not been swept in a three-game series in Seattle since Aug. 26-28, 1996.

Boxscore:

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
NYY
0 1 5 1 0 0 0 0 0   7 11 0
SEA
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0   1 6 0
W: Sabathia (6-3)
L: Vargas (3-3)
NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, DH 3 0 1 0 2 0 0 .258
Granderson, CF 5 2 3 0 0 0 3 .282
Teixeira, 1B 5 0 1 1 0 0 4 .258
Rodriguez, Al, 3B 5 1 1 0 0 1 5 .282
Cano, 2B 5 1 1 1 0 0 2 .279
Swisher, RF 2 2 1 1 2 0 0 .210
Jones, An, LF 3 1 1 3 1 0 2 .236
Gardner, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .253
Nunez, E, SS 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 .250
Cervelli, C 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .174
Totals 36 7 11 7 5 2 19 .253
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Sabathia(W, 6-3) 8.0 5 1 1 3 5 1 2.98
Pendleton 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 6 1 1 3 5 1 3.63

NYY @ SEA – 5/29/11

UPDATE 2:12 PM EST: A quick note- Exactly 16 years ago, Derek Jeter made his MLB debut in Seattle.

Lineups:

Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitchers:

C.C. Sabathia (5-3, 3.17) vs. Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.86)

Enjoy the game.

Yanks Beat in Extras by Mariners, 5-4

From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

SEATTLE — The losses that come with Mariano Rivera walking off the mound often go down this way, with a ball hit just well enough that it finds a safe patch of outfield grass to land on.

Adam Kennedy was the one providing the ending on Saturday, knocking in pinch-runner Luis Rodriguez with the winning run in the 12th inning to lift the Mariners to a 5-4 victory over the Yankees at Safeco Field.

“It was the game,” Rivera said. “I made good pitches and the ball found places. You can’t do [anything]. I wish we’d still be playing, but it’s done.”

The loss resides next to Rivera’s name in the box score, but the Yankees knew better.

After wrestling a lead away from Felix Hernandez in the seventh inning, four Seattle relievers silenced their bats until the end of a four-hour, 18-minute grind that ended well after most New Yorkers had retired to bed.

“They’ve been throwing a lot of strikes,” said Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. “They’ve been pitching really well. You can see their ERAs. They’re really good and you’ve got to give them some credit.”

In the decisive 12th, Justin Smoak got aboard with a one-out single before leaving for the pinch-runner, and Jack Cust followed with a well-hit double into the left-field corner.

“You can’t defend that. There’s no excuses,” Rivera said.

An intentional walk loaded the bases for Kennedy, who won it with a shallow looper to center field.

“I’m trying to survive,” Kennedy said. “You know what’s coming. That’s my second hit off him ever and the other one was just the same. It’s not easy.”

David Pauley was the last of Seattle’s relievers on Saturday, hurling two scoreless innings for the win. The Yankees have gone quietly over nine frames against the Mariners’ bullpen in the series.

“It’s been two nights in a row we haven’t scored on them,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought we had a couple of chances, we hit some balls hard. We just didn’t score.”

Hernandez struggled early, serving up a solo homer to Cano in the second inning and a two-run shot to Mark Teixeira in the third.

“They were waiting a little bit, but after the third they started hacking,” Hernandez said. “I made two mistakes with fastballs to Cano. That was right in the middle. And Teixeira, too. I fell behind and you pay.”

He settled in, but the Yankees were able to get him to cough up a one-run lead in the seventh.

With Derek Jeter aboard, Granderson belted a drive to right field that Ichiro Suzuki pursued oddly, leaping on the warning track and missing the ball entirely. Granderson charged to third base as Jeter scored the tying run easily.

It was an interesting night for Jeter, who had two hits and is now 21 away from becoming the first player in a Yankees uniform to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.

Jeter also used the evening to reach another statistical milestone, logging his 327th career stolen base in the third inning, surpassing Rickey Henderson for the most in franchise history.

That was all book-keeping in the end. As he watched from the clubhouse, Ivan Nova took responsibility.

Down, 3-1, after three innings, the Mariners took the lead with three runs in the fourth, knocking Nova out.

“I feel bad about that,” Nova said. “I had the lead twice in the game and I can’t hold on. I don’t feel happy with that.”

Franklin Gutierrez started the fourth with a bad-hop single that ate up Jeter, and Kennedy doubled to set up Miguel Olivo’s game-tying, two-run double.

Nova also uncorked a wild pitch and allowed the go-ahead hit, a Brendan Ryan RBI single, before leaving.

“I don’t have really good command today, but I’ve got to find another way to fight and stay in the game,” Nova said. “I’ll try to do better next time.”

Girardi said that he would have liked to see Nova challenge hitters more. The righty allowed five hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking three and fanning one.

“You have to be able to throw strikes,” Girardi said. “This is a ballpark where there aren’t a lot of home runs hit. I think you can be more aggressive in this ballpark and attack the strike zone. That’s what he has to do.”

You couldn’t pin it on the Yankees’ bullpen. Hector Noesi performed admirably in relief, holding the Mariners scoreless over 2 1/3 innings of two-hit ball.

Dave Robertson struck out the side in the seventh. Joba Chamberlain hurled two scoreless innings and Boone Logan faced the minimum in the 10th before Luis Ayala set the Mariners down in the 11th.

Ultimately, even as Kennedy’s humpback off Rivera rolled past Granderson and was abandoned in center field, the Yankees had to look back at the early innings as the turning point.

“It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. “We had leads in both of the games and weren’t able to hold them. We gave free baserunners and it hurt us.”

Boxscore:

NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, SS 5 1 2 0 1 0 1 .257
Granderson, CF 6 1 1 1 0 1 2 .274
Teixeira, 1B 3 1 1 2 3 0 0 .259
Rodriguez, Al, 3B 6 0 1 0 0 1 5 .284
Cano, 2B 5 1 3 1 0 1 0 .281
Martin, C 4 0 0 0 1 2 3 .253
Posada, DH 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .174
a-Jones, An, PH-DH 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .231
Swisher, RF 5 0 1 0 0 1 1 .206
1-Dickerson, PR-RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .308
Gardner, LF 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 .253
Totals 44 4 9 4 5 7 16 .252
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Nova 3.2 5 4 4 3 1 0 4.67
Noesi 2.1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.96
Robertson 1.1 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.27
Chamberlain 1.2 0 0 0 1 2 0 3.12
Logan 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.15
Ayala 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.80
Rivera, Ma(L, 1-1) 0.1 3 1 1 1 0 0 2.11
Totals 11.1 13 5 5 5 8 0 3.68

NYY @ SEA – 5/28/11

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF

Pitchers:

Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01)

MLBTR Notes: Cashman, Brett Myers, Yanks’ Scouting

Here are some notes from MLBTR on the Yankees:

  • GM Brian Cashman told George A. King III of The New York Post that he isn’t getting any calls about trades just yet. “I am not getting calls,” said Cashman. “We have the farm system and money, but no calls … The headache stuff is available. The quality stuff is not available.”
  • Within the article, King notes that the team could look for upgrades at DH, in right field, and for the pitching staff. He says the Astros “will listen” to offers for Brett Myers, but the Yankees “don’t have a match.” King speculates that Carlos Beltran, Michael Cuddyer, and Vladimir Guerrero could be potential trade targets.
  • Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal wrote about the club’s pro scouting department, which helped unearth Bartolo Colon and others this offseason. “It’s easy to recommend a guy when the numbers are there,” said scout Tim Naehring. “The most difficult thing is feeling confident and putting in a report when the production isn’t there. The biggest challenge is sticking your neck out and saying,’I know there’s more in there. I know there’s better performance coming.’”

Bullpen Lets Up Early Lead, in 4-3 Loss

From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

SEATTLE — The Yankees’ bullpen was lauded as an unquestioned strength heading into the season, but it was their weak spot on Friday in the opener of a nine-game road trip.

Clinging to a one-run lead heading to the sixth inning, two Yankees relievers frittered it away. A pair of soft run-scoring groundouts eased them along to a 4-3 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field.

“We had a chance to win tonight and that’s disappointing,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Whether it’s the first game or the ninth game of the road trip, that’s disappointing.”

The Yankees’ frustration was evident in the face of Eduardo Nunez, who pinch-ran in the eighth inning and pulled off a daring steal of second base, only to be picked off representing the tying run.

“I feel bad. It’s a big play in the inning,” said Nunez, who was nabbed by Jamey Wright. “The tying run is me. To get picked off, I feel so bad. It happens.”

Nick Swisher didn’t have a much better night. Swisher belted a deep drive to center field in the fourth inning that seemed like a sure bet to snap his prolonged offensive funk.

He never saw Franklin Gutierrez leap against the outfield wall and bring the ball back for an out. The look of amazement on the face of Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan told Swisher everything he needed to know.

“No chance. I hit that ball really well,” Swisher said. “What are you going to do? He looked like Michael Jordan out there on that play.”

That helplessness seeped into the bullpen as well. A.J. Burnett needed 97 pitches to get through five innings, so Girardi wanted Boone Logan to get an out before Luis Ayala got the ball to the later innings.

Burnett said he still had a little something left in the tank, but he couldn’t argue with the call.

“Those guys in the bullpen are there for a reason,” Burnett said. “A lot of walks [five] and I’m sure the 97 pitches had a lot to do with it.”

Logan once again couldn’t fulfill his assignment, as Adam Kennedy pounced on a hanging slider, the 11th hit that Logan has surrendered to a lefty in 32 at-bats.

Ayala allowed a single to Miguel Olivo and then issued a four-pitch walk to Carlos Peguero, setting up RBI at-bats for Ryan and Ichiro Suzuki.

Ryan bounced a ball to shortstop that was too slowly hit to turn a double play, tying the score, and Ichiro followed with a RBI grounder to shortstop that gave Seattle its first lead of the evening.

“You just find a way to push them across,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “Our guys did a good job keeping them in the middle of the field. That’s the separator right there. If you’re hitting those balls to the corners, you’re not going to score those runs.”

The silent rally made a winner out of David Pauley, who hurled two scoreless innings after promising starter Michael Pineda was hit for three runs in five frames.

Seattle had scored twice off Burnett, who knew that he’d sealed his own fate by needing to wriggle free of self-created jams too often.

“I was 3-1, 3-2 on a lot of hitters,” Burnett said. “At the same time, I was able to get out of it here and there. It definitely was the deciding factor in coming out, walks and a high pitch count.”

It might have been a different decision, Girardi allowed, if both of the Mariners’ runs off Burnett hadn’t come in the fifth on RBI groundouts by Luis Rodriguez and Justin Smoak.

As Girardi knows all too well, the crop of relievers he has on his lineup card isn’t exactly what he thought would be there this spring, but they must make do with few reinforcements available.

“Some guys are going to be expected to do a little bit more, that’s the bottom line,” Girardi said.

The Yankees saw flashes of the 22-year-old Pineda’s promise but were able to run up the right-hander’s pitch count and get him out after five innings.

“He had trouble with the strike zone,” Girardi said. “I thought our guys were patient off him and did a good job off him. He hasn’t given up a lot of runs.”

Mark Teixeira accounted for New York’s first run in the first, belting his 14th homer.

In the fifth, Pineda uncorked a nasty breaking ball that Alex Rodriguez waved at, but it skipped away for a wild pitch that scored Curtis Granderson standing up.

Booed as usual during his return visits to Seattle, Rodriguez then dropped an RBI single in front of a sliding Gutierrez, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

“Growing up in the Dominican, I think he heard all about the Yankees and saw all those highlights, so he was pretty excited,” catcher Olivo said of Pineda. “I think he was overthrowing the fastball. But for five innings, they still only had three hits and that’s amazing.”

Pineda used 96 pitches in the effort, his 10th big league outing, walking five and striking out five.

“We heard a lot about him coming in,” Swisher said. “I thought we did a great job getting his pitch count up. We just kind of let it slip away from us. It’s a tough loss to take.”

Boxscore:

NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, SS 5 0 1 0 0 0 2 .254
Granderson, CF 2 1 0 0 2 1 1 .277
Teixeira, 1B 4 2 2 1 0 1 2 .258
Rodriguez, Al, 3B 3 0 1 1 1 1 2 .288
Cano, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .273
Martin, C 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 .261
Posada, DH 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 .178
1-Nunez, E, PR-DH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250
Swisher, RF 3 0 1 0 1 1 0 .206
Gardner, LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .262
Totals 31 3 5 2 6 7 14 .253
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Burnett, AJ 5.0 4 2 2 5 6 0 3.99
Logan 0.0 1 1 1 0 0 0 4.50
Ayala(BS, 1)(L, 1-1) 2.0 1 1 1 1 2 0 1.93
Robertson 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.35
Totals 8.0 6 4 4 6 10 0 3.68
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