[Note by Ed Valentine, 07/08/10 6:25 PM EDT: Nick Swisher has been voted to the AL All-Star Team. ]
(Sports Network) - While New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher awaits the final tally for the last spot on the American League All-Star roster, his team will take a five-game winning streak into tonight's opener of a four-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Swisher is currently battling four other players who are trying to punch their ticket to the 81st All-Star Game to be played next week at Angel Stadium. He strengthened his case in Wednesday's 6-2 win over the Oakland A's by finishing 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, as the Yankees completed the three-game sweep and remained two games ahead of Tampa Bay for the AL East lead. New York has won four in a row on the road.
"'Send Swish!'" he said on the team's website. "Obviously it would be an amazing honor for me. I've said that a million times. But we'll find out tomorrow and see what happens."
Mark Teixeira belted a three-run homer during New York's five-run fourth inning and entered the game batting .308 with 12 runs, four homers and 16 RBI in his previous 17 games. Slugging third baseman Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, and is still owns 597 career home runs. He is trying to become the seventh member of the 600-homer club which consists of Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., and Sammy Sosa.
Yankees starter A.J. Burnett shook off some rust and held the Athletics to a pair of runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in seven innings. Burnett hadn't won since May 30 versus Cleveland and was 0-5 with an 8.80 earned run average in his last six starts -- all Yankee losses.
Damaso Marte and Joba Chamberlain each threw a scoreless inning of relief to preserve the victory. Taking the mound tonight for the defending champion Yankees will be veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte, who will shoot for his 11th win of the season. Pettitte is 10-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 16 starts and has won five of his last six decisions (8 starts).
Pettitte beat Toronto the last time out in Saturday's 11-3 victory despite giving up three runs and five hits in six innings. The left-hander, who is 3-0 in six road outings this season, hopes to even his career mark against Seattle. In 22 career starts versus the Mariners, Pettitte is 10-11 with a 4.51 earned run average.
The month of July hasn't been too kind for the Mariners, who were just swept in three games at home by the Kansas City Royals and lost for the sixth time in seven tries.
Jason Vargas gets the nod for Manager Don Wakamatsu's ballclub tonight and has dropped two straight starts since going 4-0 in his previous nine trips to the bump. He took the loss in Saturday's 6-1 setback at Detroit and gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. Vargas, who is 5-1 in nine home starts this season, will face the Yankees for the third time in his career. He is 0-0 with a 7.50 ERA in two career games (1 start) in this series.
Seattle took two of three matchups at Yankee Stadium from June 29-July 1 this season and has won five of the previous seven meetings between the clubs.