A couple of Yankee pitching legends put their stamp on another victory for New York on Saturday at Safeco Field and now the visitors try to cap off a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners on another positive note.
With six more games slated out west, three against both Oakland and the LA Angels before returning home to face the LA Dodgers in interleague play, the Yankees find themselves just 1 1/2 games behind Boston for first place in the American League East following their 3-1 triumph on Saturday.
En route to the 250th victory of his career, Yankee great Andy Pettitte allowed just a single run on three hits, striking out six over 7 1/3 innings as he moved to 5-3 on the season overall. With the triumph, Pettitte moved ahead of Vic Willis for sole possession of 43rd place on the all-time wins list.
"Two-hundred and fifty wins, and a lot of postseason wins, too," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been a great Yankee, and when you talk about one of the all-time greats, that's what he has been. He has been a pleasure to play with and a pleasure to manage."
Helping to get Pettitte to another win was reliever Mariano Rivera, who struck out three in the ninth to record his 22nd save of the campaign and the 630th of his illustrious career, nearly twice as many as his closest active rival (Joe Nathan, 316).
Jayson Nix had two hits and knocked in a pair of runs for New York, while Brett Gardner accounted for three hits and scored once.
The Mariners, now 10 1/2 games out of contention in the AL West, registered a total of only four hits, two coming from Kyle Seager. Jason Bay scored the lone run for the club in the fourth.
Joe Saunders was saddled with the loss for Seattle, permitting three runs on seven hits and a couple of walks. The starter struck out four through 6 1/3 innings of work.
The Yankees now go from one of the top pitchers in team history to a second- year hurler in David Phelps, as the Missouri native heads to the hill Sunday.
Phelps, who picked up a win over the Mariners in his only other appearance against the club in his brief career, is coming off his fourth victory of the campaign on Tuesday versus Cleveland.
Against the Indians, the right-hander allowed just a single hit over the course of six innings, although he did walk four in addition to striking out seven. The win was the third in the last four outings for the Notre Dame product.
As for the Mariners, they have one of the most dominant hurlers in the game at their disposal today in Felix Hernandez. Since losing back-to-back outings against Cleveland and Texas in May, the right-hander has bounced back with consecutive victories, the latest being his seventh of the season versus the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
Hernandez did give up four runs to the Sox on six hits and a walk over 7 1/3 innings, but at the same time he also struck out eight in a 7-4 triumph.
Now in his eighth season with the Mariners, Hernandez is making his second appearance of 2013 versus the Yankees, the first outing coming on May 14 when the hurler permitted only one run on five hits and struck out eight on the road through six innings, but he failed to factor into the decision as Seattle bowed in a 4-3 final.
For his career, the native of Venezuela has a record of 8-5 with a 2.99 ERA in 15 appearances versus the Bronx Bombers.
With two wins in the last three matchups, New York has knotted the season series with the Mariners at three games apiece.