SEATTLE -- One down, nine to go. The Yankees began this grueling 11-day, 10-game, three-city West Coast trip with an effortless 6-1 victory over the punchless Seattle Mariners.
What it means: That when you take Phil Hughes out of the Bronx, you get a different pitcher.
West Coast Seattle Boy: With apologies to James Marshall Hendrix, the phrase could apply to Phillip Joseph Hughes, too, who has never lost at Safeco and is now 4-0 in Seattle with a 0.82 ERA. Hughes rebounded with a vengeance from his brutal last outing, when he surrendered five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Hughes retired the first eight Mariners he faced, didn't walk a batter until the sixth and allowed only one baserunner into scoring position all night. His seven innings, in which he allowed three hits, walked two and struck out seven, nearly matched his best performance of the year, an eight-inning shutout against the Oakland A's on May 4. He left after walking Kelly Shoppach to start the eighth, and was charged with an unearned run -- Kevin Youkilis made an error -- because Boone Logan, called upon to retire lefty Kyle Seager, surrendered an RBI double, allowing the inherited runner to score.
Deep six: The Yankees put up six runs in the third inning, four of them on back-to-back home runs by Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira. Cano's was a three-run blast on the first pitch he saw from Aaron Harang; Teixeira waited for the second pitch to knock a solo shot into the right-center-field seats. For Cano, it was No. 15 and RBIs 37, 38 and 39; For Teixeira, it was his third homer in seven games since his return from the DL. The Yankees sent 11 men to the plate that inning; the only one not to get a hit was Austin Romine, who made two of the three outs.
Except for one inning ...:Seattle pitchers tossed a gem. Harang held the Yankees hitless for the first two innings, and Blake Beavan did the same for innings four through seven. A string of 14 batters retired before Travis Hafner led off the eighth with a single.
Welcome home, Ich: In his first trip back to Safeco since being traded to the Yankees last July while they were here playing the Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki got a polite, but by no means thunderous or warm, ovation from the crowd his first time up. And he made no friends here in his second at-bat, when his single drove in the Yankees' sixth run of the game.
Midnight sun: Because of Seattle's northern latitude, the sky didn't really begin darkening until the seventh inning, or about 9:15 p.m. local time.
Dog-tired: The Mariners were coming off a marathon 16-inning, five-hour, 42-minute 7-5 loss to the White Sox Wednesday night, a game that was scoreless for the first 13 innings. Shoppach, who caught all nine tonight, also caught all 16 Wednesday. Said Joe Girardi before the game: "They could have played 40 for all I care."
What's next: Hiroki Kuroda (6-4, 2.59), coming off a loss to the Red Sox in Sunday's rain-shortened game, gets the ball for Game 2 of this four-game series. He faces RHP Jeremy Bonderman (0-1, 13.50), who got bombed on June 2 in his first start in two years due to multiple shoulder and elbow surgeries. First pitch at 10:10 p.m. PT.