The Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners, 4-3, at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon after getting the win in the first game of the series on Friday. Former Yankee Robinson Cano drove in all four of Seattle’s runs.
Cano hit a homer above the Stanley sign in right center to drive in Kyle Seager in the first inning and then hit another two-run homer over the Fox Business sign in the sixth off of Michael Pineda to give the Mariners a lead they would not lose. Both of Cano’s homers came off of fastballs up in the zone, and that was a pitch that Cano was always able to do damage on as a Yankee.
One hitter hurt us really bad today,” Joe Girardi said. “Today it was Robbie. We know he is a really good player.”
That was Cano’s first multi-homer game since joining the Mariners. Pineda pitched six innings and he would want those two pitches to Cano back. Besides Cano’s homers, Pineda allowed four hits and two walks to the Mariners. He struggled once again on extra rest, which is something that he will have to get better at because the Yankees will have to limit his innings the rest of the season.
“I feel OK today,” Pineda said. “I tried to do my best on the mound. My fastball was not as sharp as it usual is. This is the game. Cano is a pretty good hitter and he had a good day today.” Cano hit his homers early in the at-bats, and Pineda had to be fastball reliant because he didn’t have command of his slider.
Brian McCann tied the game at two on a deep homer to right-center in the fourth inning that scored Mark Teixeira. That was his 15th homer of the season, and McCann is just the 3rd catcher in MLB history with 15+ HR in 10 of his 1st 11 seasons.
In the sixth inning, the Yankees didn’t score any runs after having Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury on second with no outs. Gardner extended his hitting streak to eight games but Alex Rodriguez was not able to drive him home.
Didi Gregorius hit a double down the right field line with two outs in the seventh for his first and only hit of the game. However, Rob Refsnyder, who was 0-3 and only has two hits in 12 at-bats since being called up, grounded out to first to strand Gregorius at second. The Yankees did not make the most of their scoring chances as they were 0-8 with runners in scoring position.
Mark Teixeira leadoff the bottom of the ninth with a double to the wall in right-center for his second hit of the game. With one out in the inning, Chase Headley advanced to first on a missed third strike that went all the way back to the backstop. Teixeira advanced to third on the wild pitch. With the score 4-3 after Garrett Jones’s RBI groundout, Gregorius grounded out to Cano at second to end the game.
Marines starter Hisashi Iwakuma picked up five strikeouts in his 5.2 innings and kept the Yankees off balance with his hesitation in his delivery. “He changes speeds really well,” Girardi said. “He has got four different pitches that he can use and that’s what he did.”
As a result of Tampa’s win over Toronto this afternoon, the Yankees now have a 3.5 game lead of the Rays for first place in the AL East. Felix Hernandez will pitch for the Mariners and CC Sabathia will pitch for the Yankees in the series finale at 1:05 p.m. EST on Sunday.