Both teams were without their starting third basemen as A-Rod continued to recover from a throat infection and Adrian Beltre had to sit out due to a stiff-neck.

Jarrod Washburn looked like he had his good stuff going last night as after a leadoff walk to Damon, he struck out both Jeter (who's slumping right now), Abreu and got Giambi to fly out to center. Facing a Seattle line-up that was depleted of one of their better hitters in Beltre (say you what you will but Adrian had been pretty hot since the break...and his replacement was Willie Bloomquist), Randy got into trouble early allowing a leadoff double to Ichiro. After a groudout advanced him to third, a Jose Lopez single brought Ichiro in with the first run of the game. That run was actually the first that Randy had ever given up at Safeco. Luckily, Johnson was able to settle down and get out of the first without any further damage.

Still, the fact that Johnson gave up a run so quickly was enough to scare me a little bit. The Seattle line-up is hands-down one of the weakest in the majors, though they do play at a pretty extreme pitcher's park. Still, even in any context, this is a pretty bad lineup and then when you take Beltre out of that line-up - well, it hurt me physically looking at it. It reminded me too much of the Alvaro Espinosa, Pat Kelly and Kevin Maas days (though that was the first time we all got to see Bernie).

After cruising through the first two innings, the Yanks got to Washburn in the third with singles by Craig Wilson and Johnny Damon. With one out (a Nick Green K), Derek Jeter's single tied the game and put runners on first and second. However, Washburn was able to right himself and struck out both Abreu and Giambi.

The bottom of the third started off much like the first for Randy. The leadoff man in the inning, Chris Snelling, led off with a double and advanced on a goundout by Ichiro. A swinging bunt by Willie Bloomquist put runners on first and third (the runner didn't come home as the hit was a very slow dribbler to first). A RBI single by Jose Lopez (he was down in the count 2 strikes) put the Mariners back on top and a Richie Sexson double (also, down in the count 2 strikes) cleared the bases, put Sexson on second with one out and gave the Mariners a 4-1 lead. Randy got out of the inning at that point thanks to an Eduardo Perez strikeout and a Kenji Johjima groundout.

In the top of the 4th, Posada was hit by a pitch followed by a single by Cano (who's hitting quite a bit better with runners on since he came back from his injury) put runners on first and second with no one out. Washburn was able to strike out Melky (his 8th strikeout of the game) to get the first out and was gifted the second out as Robbie Cano was picked off first by a snap throw by Kenji Johjima. That was a huge out in the game as it seemed to let all the air out of the rally. Still, the inning wasn't quite over as Craig Wilson worked out a walk and Nick Green was hit by a pitch. This loaded the bases with 2 outs for Johnny Damon who lined out to left. It was a disappointing set of events for an inning that had started out well but at the least, Washburn's pitch count had hit 80 after 4 innings.

However, that lost opportunity would be it for the Yankees as Washburn ended up pitching two more solid innings before allowing a second Yankees run on a solo home-run by Damon (who is making a serious push for player of the month) in the seventh. The home run would have been more meaningful had Nick Green been on base but Ichiro, playing center, made a really good grab on Green's shot to the wall. The Seattle bullpen then came in and contributed 3 scoreless innings of work to seal the win at 4-2. For his part, Johnson did end up settling down and pitching a complete game for the Yanks, giving a tired bullpen some much needed rest. Still, the Red Sox who beat the previously unbeaten Jered Weaver, did gain a game in the standings so the Yankees go into a series with the (always troublesome) Angels on a sour note, having lost 2 of 3 and with only a 5.5 game lead in the standings.