SEATTLE (AP) — Aaron Harang was coming off consecutive strong starts that gave the Seattle Mariners optimism one spot in the back end of their rotation might be settled.
Then came Thursday night when Harang couldn’t make it out of the third inning.
Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and Mark Teixeira followed with a solo shot as part of New York’s six-run third inning Thursday night, and Phil Hughes took a shutout into the eighth for the Yankees in a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Cano and Teixeira were the catalysts for New York’s big third inning that proved to be the Yankees only offense as they started a 10-game West Coast trip with a win. New York matched its season high for runs scored in an inning, tagging Harang (2-6) for eight hits in the third.
“You’re going to have those innings. Obviously I made the mistake at the wrong time with Cano with runners on,” Harang said. “It seemed like everything started to spiral out of control.”
The Yankees batted around in the third inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and knocking out Harang after 2 1-3 innings. Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner sandwiched singles around Austin Romine’s strikeout. Cano then lined a high fastball into the right field seats for his 15th homer and before Harang could recover, Teixeira hit his third homer to right-center to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead. It was New York’s first back-to-back homers since Cano and Vernon Wells on May 12 in Kansas City.
The battering of Harang didn’t stop. Travis Hafner singled and Kevin Youkilis doubled before Wells looped an RBI single. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a line drive over shortstop Brendan Ryan to score another run and Harang’s miserable night was done.
“They started knocking the ball around and we had to get him out of there,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “He wasn’t making any pitches and they weren’t missing them. It happened pretty quick.”
In his last outing at home on May 27, Harang threw Seattle’s only complete-game shutout of the season, tossing a four-hitter against San Diego. He followed that with six solid innings at Minnesota giving up one earned run.
Harang felt his only mistake was the pitch to Cano.
“One of those days where you make pitches and it was just tough luck,” Harang said.
The bright spot for Seattle was reliever Blake Beavan, who was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. Beavan, who was demoted to the minors on May 1, retired 14 straight batters after taking over for Harang, striking out four. Beavan’s streak was snapped when Hafner led off the eighth with a single, but that was the only hit allowed in 6 2-3 innings as Beavan faced the minimum.
According to STATS, Inc., Beavan was the first pitcher to face the minimum number of batters in a relief appearance of at least 6 2-3 innings since Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook in April 2004.
“I just had the mentality they will have to earn what they get and it worked pretty good tonight,” Beavan said. “All you can do is make as good a pitch as you can and hope your defenders are there for the ball.”
Seattle had little offense because of Hughes, who won for the first time in nearly a month. He struck out seven before leaving after facing one batter in the eighth inning.
The last time Hughes saw the Mariners, he didn’t make it out of the first inning. Hughes lasted just two outs May 15, giving up seven earned runs and six hits. On Thursday, the Mariners didn’t get a runner to third base until the sixth inning when Brendan Ryan walked and reached third on Kyle Seager’s one-out single — the third hit allowed by Hughes. Ryan was left at third after Hughes got pop outs from Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales.
Seager’s RBI double in the eighth scored Seattle’s only run.
“You talk about bounce back outings and not having a snowball effect on you,” Hughes said. “So it’s nice to pitch well here.”
NOTES: Suzuki played in Seattle for the second time with the Yankees. Last year was a whirlwind with his trade to New York taking place while the Yankees were in Seattle. He was greeted with a tepid ovation before his first at-bat but the “Ichimeter” that was a staple of his time in Seattle was back in the front row of the right field stands. Before the game Suzuki, who is staying at the team hotel, joked he never fully realized how many Starbucks there were in downtown Seattle. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he texted with 3B Alex Rodriguez in the last couple of days but it was strictly baseball related. … Seager extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Michael Morse (quad) returned to lineup for Seattle after missing last seven games. He struck out three times.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.