SEATTLE -- The New York Yankees needed just the third inning Thursday to put away the Seattle Mariners, 6-1, collecting eight of their nine hits and scoring all six of their runs in that inning.
And while it might not have shown up in the stats just yet, having Mark Teixeira back in the lineup is sure to benefit not only the Yankees, but their best hitter, Robinson Cano, who in manager Joe Girardi's current lineup gets the benefit of hitting in front of Tex.
Teixeira hit a home run in the third inning, his third in seven games (22 at-bats) since coming off the DL. But more importantly, his status as a switch-hitting power bat in the lineup practically guarantees that Cano will see better pitches to hit. In fact, it probably worked Thursday, when with one out and two on in the third, Aaron Harang tried to get ahead of Cano with a mediocre fastball that Cano belted into the right-field seats to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
"Oh, yeah, I can see the difference," said Cano, who had just one hit in his previous 15 at-bats. "I get more pitches to hit now, [because] they know he’s also a guy who takes a lot of walks. So it’s good to see him back."
Teixeira's batting average is just .227, but he already has eight RBI in seven games.
"I’m still not close to where I want to be overall," he said. "There are some at-bats that I just feel completely lost, but that’s going to take a while. That’s just a product of not playing for so long and not having the at-bats. When I do get a good pitch to hit or when I do make contact, I’m getting the results."
• The last time Phil Hughes faced the Mariners, he got just two outs and allowed seven earned runs. Thursday night, he got eight outs before the Mariners even got a hit, and would not have allowed a run except for an eighth-inning error by Kevin Youkils and an RBI double allowed by Boone Logan that caused the runner to score. Hughes' line (7-plus IP, 3H, 0ER, 7Ks) was second only to the eight shutout innings he threw against Oakland in May. Hughes (3-4) has never lost at Safeco Field, where he is now 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA.
"Obviously, when you don't get out of the first inning, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth," he said. "To come here, it's pretty satisfying, but at the end of the day it's one start against one team."
• The back-to-back homers by Cano and Teixeira was only the second time this year the Yankees have done it; Cano and Vernon Wells did it on May 12 in Kansas City.
• Wells was 0-for-18 before his RBI single in the third. It was also his first hit in June. He last had a hit on May 31 against the Boston Red Sox. It was also his first RBI since May 20.
• Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI single in his Safeco homecoming to extend his modest hitting streak to seven games. Over that span, he is hitting .400 (8-for-20).