With a pair of young pitchers, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, being bit by the injury bug, the Yankees need their veteran pitchers to step up, and in the past two games, that hasn't happened.
After CC Sabathia took the loss on Tuesday, Hiroki Kuroda was less impressive, giving up four runs in six innings, as the Yankees fell to the Mariners, 4-2, in the finale of the two-game series because of the rain out on Wednesday.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit his first homerun as a Yankee, and even made a very nice sliding play in the field, putting together most of the positive highlights for the Yankees.
The Mariners jumped out to a quick lead against Kuroda. He struck out the first batter of the game, then gave up back-to-back hits; a single and a RBI double to, who else, Robinson Cano to make it a 1-0 game.
Ellsbury tied up the score a couple pitches into the bottom of the 1st inning with a solo homerun off Roenis Elias. It was not only his first homerun in pinstripes, but he became the first Yankee to lead off a game with a homerun since Derek Jeter in August of 2012.
Ellsbury's homerun didn't help the Yankees stay even for very long, since Kuroda gave up three more runs in the 3rd and 4th innings.
Brad Miller opened the 3rd inning by reaching base on an error by Jeter, then Michael Saunders singled to put runners on the corners. After Stefen Romero struck out, Cano grounded into a fielder's choice at second base to plate a run, putting the M's back up, 2-1.
Miller drove in the third run in the 4th inning on an single to left, then Saunders made it a 4-1 game on a ground-rule double into the left-center field bullpen.
Kuroda's pitches looked a little sharper than they had in the past, but he still wasn't able to get the outs he needed. His final two innings were better, as he set down all six M's he faced in the 5th and 6th innings. His final line ended as 6 innings, four runs (three earned), seven hits, one walk, seven strikeouts.
Pitching for the other team, Elias was very dominant for Seattle, striking out 10 in seven innings of two-run ball.
The second run he gave up was in the 6th inning. Alfonso Soriano singled with two outs, then he moved over to second on a infield blunder by the M's when Cano flipped a Mark Teixeira ground ball over to the shortstop that wasn't covering second, leading to Soriano being safe and Teixeira beating out the throw to 1st.
A batter later, Brian McCann went the other way, singling into left field to drive home Soriano, cutting the lead to 4-2. But that would be all for the Yankees.
Another night, another impressive outing for Adam Warren, who looked very good in the 1 2/3 innings he pitched out of the bullpen in the 7th and 8th innings, not putting anybody on base. And Shawn Kelley pitched a three up, three down 9th inning.
On Friday, the Yankees welcome the struggling Tampa Bay Rays into the Bronx for a three game series that starts with Vidal Nuno squaring off with David Price; it's a battle between lefties at 7:05 pm.