Mussina (3-4) was lights out after a rough first inning. He allowed just four hits - two of which came in the first - and two walks over eight innings of work to notch his second straight victory. He struck out seven batters - tying his season high - and lowered his ERA to 4.93... Seattle starter Gil Meche was matching Mussina with zeros on the scoreboard until he hit a brick wall in the sixth. Alex Rodriguez led the inning off with a double, then Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Jorge Posada followed with consecutive RBI doubles of their own to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead and knock Meche from the game... With one out and one on in the seventh, Giambi lifted a homerun to right field off of Ron Villone for a 5-0 lead. Sheffield doubled again and scored on Posada's second double of the night to cap the scoring at 6-0... Meche (1-3) allowed three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks. He struck out six over five innings... Paul Quantrill pitched the ninth for the Yankees to finish off the game... J.J. Putz pitched the final two innings for Seattle and was scary good. He struck out five of the six batters he faced and threw 22 of his 30 pitches for strikes.
Posada led the Yankees with a 4/4 performance, adding a pair of RBI... The Yankees' second through sixth batters combined to go 10 for 22. The only hit not by them was a Kenny Lofton double, his first of the year... Ichiro Suzuki had two of the Mariners' four hits... Raul Ibanez struck out three times in the game, all to Mussina... The Yankees struck out a whopping 13 times in the game.
The rubber match of the three-game series is on Sunday at 4:05 PM. Donovan Osborne (2-0, 3.18) will make his first start of the season, assuming the fifth starter's role with Jose Contreras in the minors. Jamie Moyer (1-2, 4.50) will pitch for Seattle.