Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – The Yankees failed to acquire Cliff Lee from the Mariners on Friday, but New York still topped Seattle, 6-1, behind Phil Hughes’ seven effective innings on the mound.
The reigning World Series champions were reportedly close to trading for Lee before the Texas Rangers swooped in and landed the All-Star lefty from their division rival in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak and three minor league prospects.
The transaction at least allowed the Yankees to avoid facing Lee on Friday, and they responded with their seventh straight win.
Hughes (11-2), who had given up 11 earned runs over his previous two starts, allowed just one run on six hits while walking none and striking out five.
“[Hughes] used all his pitches today. I thought he had a real good curveball,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “A lot of teams would take 11 wins from their fifth starter on the year…that’s a big deal for half the year.”
Mark Teixeira hit a pair of solo home runs, and Robinson Cano had a two-run triple during a four-run sixth inning for the victors.
David Pauley (0-1), in his first start since 2008, allowed three runs — one earned — on two hits and a walk over five-plus innings for Seattle, which has dropped five straight and eight of nine overall.
“I knew what the situation was and I knew I had to try to get them some innings and try to save the bullpen,” Pauley said. “I knew it had been a while but I wasn’t worried about that. I just tried to keep myself the same.”
Teixeira’s home run in the first inning served as the only run until New York pushed across four in the sixth.
With the bases loaded and Chad Cordero on the hill, Alex Rodriguez plated Brett Gardner with a sacrifice fly. Cano followed with a two-run triple to the right-field gap and later scored on Curtis Granderson’s base hit.
The Mariners got on the board in the bottom half via Jose Lopez’s RBI two- bagger, but Teixeira got the run back by taking Luke French deep in the ninth, notching his 27th career multi-home run game.
In addition to Smoak, the Mariners landed pitchers Blake Beavan and Josh Lueke and second baseman Matthew Lawson from the Rangers, who received Lee, pitcher Mark Lowe and cash considerations in the deal…French was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma before the game and threw three innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits and two walks…David Robertson and Chan Ho Park each threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Yankees…Ichiro Suzuki and Rob Johnson each had two hits for Seattle, which went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.