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Yankees-Mariners Score: Seattle Ends 17-Game Losing Streak, 9-2

If you still were not convinced that the New York Yankees needed to add a top-flight starting pitcher in order to compete for a World Series title in 2011, Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium should have convinced you.

Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and a pitcher I have strongly advocated the Yankees doing whatever it takes to acquire, was dominant. He worked seven innings, allowing five hits and one run in evening his deceiving record at 9-9.

Yankee starter Phil Hughes, on the other hand, flopped once again. Hughes (1-3) was ineffective for the second consecutive start. Facing a team that has the lowest batting average and the fewest runs scored in all of baseball, Hughes allowed nine hits in six shaky innings -- even though he did surrender just two runs.

Hughes, 25, has now made four starts since spending nearly three months on the disabled list with a mysterious, still truly undiagnosed, shoulder issue. In those four starts he has been effective in just one. His ERA for the season is an abominable 8.24.

Yankee general manager Brian Cashman has been trying to acquire a front-line starting pitcher to add to the Yankee rotation, and Wednesday's game was more evidence of why the Yankees will not win in the postseason without one.

Hernandez improved to 5-0 in his last six starts against the Yanks, and upped his lifetime mark to 4-1 in five starts in the Bronx.

"I wanted (to win) this game so bad," he said.

Ahead 2-1, the Mariners took control of the contest by strafing a trio of Yankees relievers in the seventh.

Cory Wade subbed for Hughes but exited after Suzuki doubled and Brendan Ryan singled with one out. Boone Logan came on, but Ackley reached first and a run scored when Cano botched a flip to Jeter on an attempted force out at second, then Justin Smoak walked to load the bases. Two batters later, Carp tripled off Granderson's glove in deep center to clear the bases and give Seattle a 6-1 edge.

"We just gave them too many opportunities in the game," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "Yeah, and this one changed the complexion of the whole game. I don't think he lost it in the sun. I think it just traveled a lot further than he thought it was going to."

Luis Ayala got the call, and surrendered an RBI double to Franklin Gutierrez before Jack Cust fanned to end the rally.

The Yanks picked up a run in the eighth off Jeff Gray as Granderson hit a leadof double, advanced on a Mark Teixeira groundout and scored on a Cano grounder to short.

In the ninth, Ackley singled then came around when Granderson appeared to lose sight of an Adam Kennedy fly in the sun. Carp followed with a run-scoring hit to make it 9-2.

The Mariners provided Hernandez run support in the third, as Suzuki singled with one out, stole second and came around on an Ackley triple.

It was 2-0 for Seattle in the fifth. Singles by Cust, Josh Bard and Suzuki loaded the bases with one out then, Ackley's base hit brought in Cust but Bard was thrown out at the plate. Suzuki stole third but Smoak grounded into a fielder's choice to end the rally.

New York finally broke through in the home half. Jeter's bases-loaded sacrifice fly brought home Russell Martin -- who led off with a base hit -- but Granderson fanned to end the frame.

-- Sports Network contributed to this report

Final - 7.27.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Seattle Mariners 0 0 1 0 1 0 5 0 2 9 17 1
New York Yankees 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 6 1
WP: Felix Hernandez (9 - 9)
LP: Phil Hughes (1 - 3)

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