Brandon Morrow and Mariners Puzzle Bombers, Yankees Nearly No-Hit

A.J. MartelliSenior Analyst ISeptember 5, 2008

The New York Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners by a score of 3-1 on Friday night.

Andy Pettitte started for the Yankees. He turned in a good game, as he went seven innings, gave up three earned runs in seven hits, walked one, and struck out nine.

Reliever-turned-starter Brandon Morrow took the hill for the Mariners in his first career big league start. He did so well his first time out that he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Morrow tossed 7.2 innings, gave up one run on one hit, walked three, and struck out eight.

The Ms got on the board in the bottom of the third. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score former Yankee utility man Miguel Cairo, giving the M's a 1-0 lead.

The Mariners struck for two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kenji Johjima singled to score Wladimir Balentien, and Cairo grounded into a force out to score Matt Tuiasosopo, giving Seattle a 3-0 edge.

Morrow continued to mow the Yankees down until the top of the eighth. After a two-out walk to Hideki Matsui, Morrow finally surrendered a base hit to pinch hitter Wilson Betemit who smacked an RBI double to put the Yankees on the board and break up Morrow's no-no.

The Yankees threatened in the bottom of the ninth. Derek Jeter led off, singled, and then stole second base. However, M's fireman J.J. Putz got Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi out to end the game and give the Mariners a win over the Yankees.

Morrow gets the win and improves to 2-2 on the season.

Although he did not pitch poorly, Pettitte loses and falls to 13-12.

Justin Thomas recorded his first hold of the year, and Putz nailed down save number 11.

"It was exciting, I was comfortable, and tonight was one of the most comfortable times I've ever pitched," said Morrow in his press conference after the game. "My arm felt good, and everything worked."

"He (Morrow) was aggressive with his fastball, but the key for him was strike one," said Joe Girardi to the media after the game. "It was a great at-bat for Wilson Betemit, because he hasn't been playing lately."

"I feel like we should be beating up on teams, that's just how I feel," said Pettitte to the press after the game. "As a group we need to do better. I've been putting us in holes early, and we can't lose many more games. We still need a miracle."

With the loss tonight and Boston's win over Texas, the Yankees fall 8.5 games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card standings, making their playoff hopes less possible.

Tomorrow night at 10:10 pm ET, the Yankees will look to rebound from tonight's loss.

Sidney Ponson (7-5, 5.13 ERA), who is coming off some rough outings, will face Australian left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith (4-2, 3.56 ERA) who, like Morrow, is also a reliever-turned-starter.