SEATTLE – Phil Hughes watched the drama surrounding Cliff Lee play out on Friday, at one point taking a moment to do the math about how the Yankees' rotation would look if Lee was traded to New York.
Ultimately, Hughes' brief thought was for naught. Lee is headed to Texas, and the Yankees are perfectly happy having a fifth starter with 11 wins before the All-Star break.
Hughes joined teammates CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte as 11-game winners before the break, and Mark Teixeira's two home runs powered New York to a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
On the day the Yankees failed in their attempt to acquire Lee from Seattle, New York ran its season-best winning streak to seven games as its young right-hander continued to build on his stellar season.
"I literally had time to catch a little bit if he was coming here and next thing I knew he was headed to Texas," Hughes said of Lee. "I didn't really think too much about it. But whatever would have happened, I might go to the bullpen, but I've done that before. I wasn't panicking."
Friday was a wild day for both the Yankees and Mariners. New York spent much of the morning thinking Lee was about to become part of the most formidable starting rotation in baseball, only to see its negotiations with the Mariners fizzle and Lee become a member of the Texas Rangers.
Hughes shouldn't need to panic about his spot in the Yankees' rotation after the first half the 24-year-old has put together. Headed to his first All-Star game, Hughes (11-2) gave up one run in seven innings. In his last outing against Seattle on June 29, he was tagged for a season-high 10 hits and six earned runs.
There was no such offensive output from the Mariners on Friday. Hughes threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of the 27 batters he faced and only once was faced with multiple runners on base. Seattle's lone run came on a pair of doubles in the sixth by Chone Figgins and Jose Lopez. By that point, the Yankees had built a 5-0 lead.
"I felt in spring training that I'd be able to have a good year. I kind of got that confidence back last year," Hughes said. "I don't think people expected a ton out of me being that I was the No. 5 starter, basically all we needed was a solid four guys. … I really felt a lot of pressure from myself to have a good year. So far, so good."
Teixeira hit his 16th homer in the first inning left-handed off emergency starter David Pauley (0-1), then added a line drive solo shot in the ninth from the right side.
It was the second multihomer game this season for Teixeira and the 10th time in his career he's homered from both sides of the plate. Robinson Cano had a two-out, two-run triple in the sixth that broke open a 2-0 game.
"It's one of those times where I'm seeing the ball well from both sides, and I'm not having to fight one side or the other," Teixeira said. "And that happens at times throughout the season. Sometimes you're fighting one, sometimes you're fighting the other. But right now, I'm feeling pretty good from both sides."
Pauley was Seattle's emergency choice to take Lee's spot in what was to be a marquee matchup of All-Stars. He was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on June 27 despite unimpressive numbers in the minors and had three relief appearances since joining the Mariners.
Making his first start since September 2008 with the Red Sox, Pauley did more than his part under difficult circumstances. The right-hander appeared to be on the verge of a long night getting battered when Teixeira cracked a high fastball into the right-field seats with two outs in the first.
After Alex Rodriguez followed with a single, Pauley got in a groove. He set down 13 straight batters between the first and fifth innings, a streak broken by Brett Gardner's leadoff walk in the sixth. Derek Jeter then reached on an error when Lopez made a weak attempt at Jeter's grounder to third.
That marked the end for Pauley, who gave up just the two first-inning hits. Chad Cordero walked Teixeira, then gave up a sacrifice fly to Rodriguez that scored Gardner. Cano kept the inning going with a drive to right-center that scored a pair, and he came home on Curtis Granderson's single.
The Mariners have dropped five straight and eight of nine.
"I knew what the situation was and I knew they needed somebody to up and get some innings to save the bullpen," Pauley said.
Seattle recalled LHP Luke French from Triple-A Tacoma before the game to add bullpen depth with Pauley suddenly starting in place of Lee. French threw three innings of relief. … New York extended its road win streak to six games and has won 12 of 15 away from Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have the second-best road record in baseball at 27-18. … Pauley is 0-4 in his career as a starter, with three of the losses coming against the Yankees.
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