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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, August 5th (All times Eastern)

Seattle Mariners (51-58) at New York Yankees (62-44), 1:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2, 4.10) New York - Freddy Garcia (4-5, 5.10)

(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees will take on the Seattle Mariners Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

After a 6-3 win on Friday night, the Yankees dropped the second game of the weekend series, 1-0, after a dominating performance from Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.

The 2010 Cy Young Award winner pitched a shutout, allowing just two hits while striking out six batters to earn his 10th win of the season. Hernandez is now 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA in five starts at the new Yankee Stadium.

"That was just special stuff today," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Hernandez. "I thought it was the most impressive start that I've ever seen as a manager."

Mike Carp's RBI single in the second inning proved to be all the run support Hernandez would need. John Jaso, Jesus Montero and Eric Thames all had two hits apiece as well for the Mariners, who have won eight of their last nine games.

The Yankees got another strong outing from Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings while striking out four, but a lack of run support sent the right-hander to his eighth loss of the season (10-8).

Robinson Cano's double and Ichiro Suzuki's single were the only hits the Yankees managed all day. Suzuki has now hit safely in all 11 games since he was traded from Seattle to New York.

The Yankees had won back-to-back games entering this set and now have lost five of their last seven overall.

Freddy Garcia, who started his career as a member of the Seattle Mariners, will take the mound against his former club on Sunday.

The 35-year-old veteran pitched for the better part of five seasons for Seattle, where he amassed 76 wins with an ERA of 3.89, which are the best numbers he has had with any team in his career.

Garcia has been a dependable arm for the Yankees this season, filling in just about everywhere from starter to reliever. In 20 total appearances, 10 of which have been starts, he is 4-5 with a 5.10 ERA in 67 total innings pitched -- the fifth highest total among Yankees pitchers.

Since the beginning of July, each of his six outings have been starts. His most recent was a six-inning effort in which he allowed three runs on nine hits in a 5-4 loss to Baltimore. It was the third loss in as many appearances for the right-hander.

In the start before facing Baltimore, Garcia made his only appearance against Seattle this season. Garcia went 7 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out eight. Even though it was the deepest he had reached in a game on the season, he still took the loss. The eight strikeouts were a season-high for Garcia as well.

Overall Garcia is 5-4 with a 5.08 ERA in 11 career starts against the team for which he made his major league debut back on April 7, 1999.

Hisashi Iwakuma will continue his expanded role in the Mariners' rotation when he makes the start for Seattle in the series finale.

The former Japanese League star was used primarily in the bullpen in the first few months of this season, his first in the major leagues. On July 2 he made his first career start and has since started four more games.

As a starter he is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.41 which compares favorably to his numbers as a reliever (1-1, 4.75 ERA). His strikeout-to-walk ratio as a starter (2.08) is also markedly better than as a reliever (1.53). Overall Iwakuma is 2-2 with a 4.10 ERA in 19 appearances with the Mariners this season.

His most recent start was the best of his short career. The 31-year-old rookie pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing just one run and also setting a career-high in strikeouts by fanning 13 batters in a 4-1 win over Toronto.

In the start before his career night, Iwakuma faced the Yankees he will be pitching against in this matchup. Although not as impressive as his start against Toronto, he did pitch reasonably well in allowing one run on six hits over five innings of work. It is his only career appearance against the Yankees.

The Yankees are 5-3 against Seattle this season.

08/05 10:30:42 ET