Slow Starters

The New York Yankees' slow start this season has caused a small uproar in upper management. At least they can take solace that they're not playing as poorly as the Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees seek their first three-game sweep of the season on Sunday when they wrap up their set with the slumping Mariners.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made New York -127 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on Seattle +117 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game. Get real live customizable updates, public betting info from 6 online sports books, archived public betting info and much more by clicking here.

New York (16-16) is in fourth place in the AL East, as baseball's most expensive team has struggled to compensate for injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

Although it is still early in the season, expectations are high for a franchise that has made 13 straight trips to the playoffs. On Friday, co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said he was "disappointed with the way the season has gone."

The Yankees had lost six of eight and had just been swept at home in a three-game series by Detroit before Seattle (13-18) came to town.

After defeating the Mariners 5-1 in Friday's series opener, New York beat them 6-1 Saturday.

Johnny Damon homered, doubled twice, drove in two runs and scored three times, while Derek Jeter had three of New York's 13 hits.

"I think we played a pretty all-around game,'' Damon said.

Seattle, meanwhile, has lost eight of 10, and has manged just seven runs during its four-game skid. The Mariners have also been outscored 33-7 during their four-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium.

After Saturday's loss, Seattle manager John McLaren dressed down his team with a screaming tirade that could be heard outside the clubhouse.

"Everything he said, he hit the nail right on the head," left fielder Raul Ibanez said. "We're not playing well and we have to pick it up."

McLaren gives the ball to Carlos Silva (3-0, 2.79 ERA), who is trying to become the first Seattle starter to open 4-0 since Jamie Moyer in 2005. He has pitched well enough to win each of his last two starts, but has received only four total runs of support in those games.

Silva allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 7-2 loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, but was not a factor in the decision. It was his first appearance since leaving his start on April 23 in the seventh inning with tightness in his right thigh.

"I felt fine all the way," the right-hander said.

Silva hasn't had much luck against the Yankees, going 1-2 with a 7.59 ERA in four career starts. In his only start against New York last season on July 3, Silva was tagged for six runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of an 8-0 loss for Minnesota.

New York counters with Darrell Rasner, who is expected to be called up from the minors to make his season debut.

Rasner is taking the place in the rotation of Phil Hughes, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in one of his ribs.

Rasner looks to build off a strong showing in the minors, where he was 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The right-hander was named the International League's pitcher of the week on Monday after allowing one run in 14 innings to win his last two starts.

Rasner went 1-3 with a 4.01 ERA in six starts for New York last season, and two of those outings came against Seattle. He went 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA versus the Mariners.

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