Yankees-Mariners Preview

The New York Yankees have their largest lead of the season atop
the AL East, but there are some concerns as the injuries mount.

They may not have much of an impact for the remainder of the
series with the Seattle Mariners, however, if Mark Teixeira
continues his torrid hitting at Safeco Field.

Teixeira, who is batting .500 in his last 10 games in Seattle,
looks to help the banged-up Yankees to a third straight win Tuesday
night against the Mariners.

Prior to Monday’s opener with Seattle (61-86), New York
announced that Francisco Cervelli is out indefinitely with a
concussion suffered in Thursday’s loss to Baltimore. With starting
catcher Russell Martin (right thumb) already sidelined, the Yankees
– also without Alex Rodriguez (left thumb) – have been forced to
hand the catching duties to rookies Jesus Montero and Austin
Romine.

“They might be called into duty if we do get to playoffs, bottom
line,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We have to find out what they can
do.”

Romine made his major league debut Monday, going 1 for 4 with a
run in a 9-3 victory as New York (89-57) opened a four-game lead
over Boston. With the one-sided victory, closer Mariano Rivera
didn’t have a chance at his 600th save.

Robinson Cano led the offense, doubling twice and driving in
three, and Teixeira unsurprisingly chipped in, going 2 for 5 with a
solo homer.

Teixeira has routinely crushed the ball at Safeco, going 22 for
44 with seven homers, four doubles and 13 RBIs in his last 10 games
there.

The two-time All-Star first baseman will get his first look at
Charlie Furbush (3-8, 4.84 ERA), who is set to face the Yankees for
the first time.

Against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, the rookie
left-hander allowed three hits through seven scoreless innings and
got the first batter out in the eighth before running into trouble.
A single, a wild pitch, a walk and a two-run double followed before
Furbush was lifted, and all three runners scored in a 3-1
defeat.

Manager Eric Wedge didn’t regret keeping him in, even though
Furbush lost his fourth straight start.

“I wanted to give him the opportunity,” Wedge said. “I thought
he earned it. … It’s a significant step for him, to be out there
in that situation. It didn’t work out this time, but now he’s gone
through it late in a ballgame, and he’ll be better for it next
time.”

New York counters with A.J. Burnett (9-11, 5.27), who has a 9.53
ERA in seven starts since the beginning of August – with opponents
batting .368 in that stretch.

After an encouraging outing in Boston on Sept. 1, when he
allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings of New York’s win, Burnett seemed
to regress Wednesday versus Baltimore, giving up four runs and
seven hits while walking four in six-plus innings of a 5-4,
11-inning loss.

The right-hander also threw three wild pitches, raising his
season total to a major league-worst 23 – nine more than anyone
else.

In his lone start of the season against the Mariners on May 27
in Seattle, Burnett allowed two runs, four hits and five walks in
five innings of a 4-3 loss, but didn’t receive the decision. He’s
still 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts at Safeco.

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who is two hits shy of matching Mickey
Mantle on the career list with 2,415, is 9 for 21 lifetime against
Burnett.