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Cliff Lee Baffles Yankee Offense

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Cliff Lee continued to torment the Yankees and the Mariners roughed up Phil Hughes in a 7-4 victory to start a three-game set at Yankee Stadium.

Seattle pounded out four doubles, a home run, 12 hits and seven total runs off Hughes (10-2), who gave up six earned runs with three strikeouts and two walks over 5 2/3 frames in an attempt to win his sixth straight outing.

“They were being aggressive and taking good swings on first-pitch fastballs,” said Hughes. “They were hacking on those first pitches.”

Lee (7-3) on the other hand was not nearly as dominant as he was in Game 1 of the World Series last season for the Phillies, but he again had the Yankees — minus Nick Swisher — off balance in his third straight complete game, giving up four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and one walk. The two early runs came courtesy of Swisher solo home runs and two more runs were added in the ninth for the Yankees, who have lost two of three.

“Cliff really pitched good,” said Mariners manager Don Makamatsu. “Just a phenomenal outing. Efficient and he had command of all of his pitches.”

Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 with two RBI, Rob Johnson doubled twice, drove in two and scored once and Franklin Gutierrez homered and scored twice for the Mariners, who have won two of three.

Swisher saw a healthy dose of fastballs, four in all, with the last one finding the barrel of his bat and landing over the left-center field wall for a 1-0 lead.

The Mariners got the run right back in the second as Jose Lopez laced a leadoff double that scooted past Curtis Granderson in center then Gutierrez lined a single to center. Granderson first fielded the ball cleanly, stopping Lopez at third, but he bobbled the exchange and the runner alertly came home on the error.

Seattle took the lead in the third with a double from Michael Saunders and a Suzuki RBI single back through the middle. Gutierrez turned on a high-and-in fastball in the fourth, depositing it just over the wall in left-center field for a 3-1 advantage.

Again, Seattle got its leadoff batter on base courtesy of Johnson’s two- bagger in the fifth. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Suzuki’s flyball to left.

The Mariners scored for the fifth straight frame when they added a three-spot in the sixth to blow the game open. Milton Bradley worked a one-out walk and moved to second on Lopez’s groundout. Hughes issued an intentional walk to Gutierrez, but the move backfired as Jack Wilson grounded an RBI single to left. Johnson then plated two with a double to left.

Swisher’s second home run of the game in the home half made the score 7-2.

The Yankees attempted to rally in the ninth before Lee skated out of further damage. Mark Teixeira doubled and scored on Robinson Cano’s single down the third-base line. Cano moved to second on the play due to Saunders’ throwing error and Jorge Posada clubbed a double that one-hopped over the right-center field wall for a 7-4 game. Lee finally settled down and got Granderson and Chad Huffman to each pop out to shortstop to end the game.

Hughes had just a 2.00 earned run average in four career appearances versus Seattle prior to the contest…Lee has a 6-1 mark in his last seven decisions…Gutierrez hit his seventh home run of the season…Swisher hit his 12th and 13th home runs of the campaign…Hughes lost for the first time since May 22nd and for the first time at home since May 4, 2009 versus Boston. The right-hander snapped a 10-game home winning streak, tied with CC Sabathia for the longest active home winning streak in the majors…Teixeira extended his hitting streak to 10 games…Lee is the first Mariner since Randy Johnson to pitch three successive complete games. The southpaw also became the first big-league pitcher to throw three straight complete games since Sabathia from July 13-23, 2008 with Milwaukee…Lopez extended his hitting streak to 12 gamesTennis pro John Isner, who played the longest tennis match in history at Wimbledon last week, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.