|Ichiro Suzuki successfully steals second base, beating second baseman Alberto Gonzalez's tag. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)|
Before Chien-Ming Wang's latest gem, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner gave a pointed assessment of the team's sluggish start.
"We just can't win one out of five games, every time Wang pitches," Steinbrenner said. "It's not going to work. It's not a good win percentage. Starting pitching is where it's at, especially in the postseason. At this point, we'll see if we even make the postseason."
Wang keeps doing his part. On a night so chilly that his pitching hand cramped, Wang became the American League's first six-game winner and ended the Yankees' three-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners last night at Yankee Stadium.
New York has won all seven starts by Wang (6-0), but the Yankees are 8-16 in other games. He pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning, and Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera completed a four-hitter. The Yankees improved to 27-7 when Wang starts following a loss, winning 11 in a row, and he is 22-6 in those games. Wang can't do it alone.
"I'm very disappointed with the way the season has gone, period," Steinbrenner said at the team's spring training complex in Tampa.
Wang improved to 7-0 against the Mariners in seven career starts, allowing three hits in six innings and striking out five.
Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single in the first inning and Melky Cabrera added a two-run double in the second off Erik Bedard (2-1). Bedard entered with a 20-inning scoreless streak against the Yankees but was hurt by Seattle's defense, which made four errors in the first three innings and allowed two unearned runs.
Wang has been a dose of good news for the Yankees, who learned that Jorge Posada will be sidelined for at least five weeks because of shoulder inflammation.
Despite their struggles on the field, the Yankees reached 4 million tickets sold at home for the fourth straight year, topping the major league record set by Toronto (1991-93).
Blue Jays 2, White Sox 0 - Shaun Marcum matched Mark Buehrle pitch for pitch and Shannon Stewart drove in the only runs, helping host Toronto hand Chicago its third straight defeat.
Marcum (3-2) struck out nine and won for the first time in three starts, lowering his ERA to 2.70. He allowed two hits and walked three.
Buehrle (1-3) gave up two runs - both unearned - on five hits in eight innings.
Twins 11, Tigers 1 - Livan Hernandez (4-1) baffled Detroit's mighty offense for seven innings and host Minnesota beat up the Tigers' normally reliable bullpen.
Orioles 4, Angels 3 - Jeremy Guthrie (1-3) won for the first time in 16 starts, Nick Markakis and Melvin Mora each drove in two runs, and Baltimore beat Los Angeles to kick off a 10-game road trip.
Mets 7, Diamondbacks 2 - Jose Reyes had four hits and was thrown out at the plate while trying to complete the cycle with an inside-the-park homer, leading visiting New York over Arizona. The Mets' Moises Alou, who had been on the disabled list since March 23 following hernia surgery, went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Rangers 4, Athletics 3 - Milton Bradley had three hits and scored a run against his former team, and visiting Texas took advantage of four errors by Oakland for its first three-game winning streak of the season.
Dodgers 11, Rockies 6 - Rafael Furcal had three hits, including a three-run homer in a seven-run sixth inning, Matt Kemp drove in four runs with two doubles, and visiting Los Angeles won its seventh straight game.
Braves 2, Reds 0 - Tim Hudson pitched a three-hitter for his 11th career shutout and Brian McCann hit a two-run homer, helping host Atlanta end a season-high four-game losing streak.
Cardinals 5, Cubs 3 - Skip Schumaker hit a two-run homer off Chad Fox in the 11th in host St. Louis's victory over Chicago.
Pirates 11, Nationals 4 - Jose Bautista homered twice and drove in four runs and visiting Pittsburgh ended Washington's winning streak at four games.
Phillies 6, Giants 5 - Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, lifting Philadelphia.
Astros 7, Brewers 4 - Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman, and Carlos Lee hit consecutive home runs to propel host Houston.
Marlins 6, Padres 4 - Dan Uggla hit two home runs, and Mark Hendrickson (5-1) pitched seven effective innings as host Florida won.
The Indians' game against the Kansas City Royals in Cleveland was postponed by rain. No makeup date was announced.