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Preview: Mariners Send Lee To Face Yankees In Season's First Meeting

(Sports Network) - New York Yankees young star Phil Hughes has been a pleasant surprise this season and will shoot for his sixth straight winning start when he takes the mound Tuesday versus the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series from the Bronx.

Hughes has won five straight outings and pushed his 2010 mark to 10-1 in 13 starts the last time out on June 19 versus the New York Mets. Hughes hurled seven innings of three-run ball, allowed five hits and struck out four in the 5-3 victory at Yankee Stadium, where he is 6-0 in seven starts this season.

The right-hander will try to keep the Yankees rolling when he faces the Mariners for the fifth time in his career. Hughes is 1-0 with a 2.00 earned run average in four career games (1 start) in this series.

New York squeezed past the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sunday night's 8-6 victory in 10 innings, as slugging second baseman Robinson Cano belted a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to put the Yankees ahead for good.

"I was looking for a pitch I could drive," Cano said. "It was middle-away. I thought that it was in the gap, I didn't think it was going out. I came through at the right time."

Alex Rodriguez also homered and scored three runs, while Chad Huffman finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI for the AL East-leading Yankees, who have won six of eight games and sit two games ahead of Boston in the division standings. Andy Pettitte lucked out in the no-decision after he was reached for five runs -- two earned -- and six hits in five innings. Closer Mariano Rivera pitched the last two innings for the win.

The Yankees will also host Toronto and are 25-10 in the Bronx this season.

Seattle will resume its nine-game road trip Tuesday and has lost three of four games since a six-game winning streak. It dropped two of three matchups with the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend and sustained a 3-0 loss in Sunday's series finale from Miller Park.

Jason Vargas had a rough outing and suffered the loss for giving up three runs and seven hits in five innings of work. It was the first loss for Vargas since May 4 against Tampa Bay.

"There were only two pitches that really hurt Vargas, but they both came in the fifth inning," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "Narveson did a nice job of getting ahead of our hitters and then after that we helped him out by swinging at some pitches out of the zone."

Jose Lopez had a team-high two hits for the Mariners, who are last in the AL West standings and 11-26 away from the Emerald City this season. The M's will also visit Detroit on the current road swing.

Left-hander Cliff Lee is scheduled to make his 12th start of the season for Seattle tonight and he's 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA. He has won back-to-back starts and is 5-1 in his previous six decisions, including a second straight complete game performance last Wednesday in an 8-1 win over the Cubs. Lee allowed one run on nine hits with nine strikeouts, just one start after shutting out Cincinnati on June 18.

The left-hander, who has four complete games in 2010, will try to push his career record against the Yankees over the .500 mark. Lee is 4-4 with a 5.02 ERA in nine career starts against the Yankees in the regular season. He beat them twice as a member of the Phillies in last year's World Series.

Seattle and New York are meeting for the first time since the Yankees won six of 10 matchups a year ago.