Move over, Masahiro Tanaka, because Chase Whitley is coming for that Rookie of the Year award.
The young Yankee right-hander followed up his first Major League win last weekend against the Kansas City Royals by holding the Seattle Mariners to just two runs in five hits in 7.2 innings, as the Yankees completed the sweep of the Mariners with a 6-3 victory on Thursday night in Seattle.
Whitley also got some help from the Yankees' offense, which put up more than four runs for the first time since May 27.
Jacoby Ellsbury started off the game with a two-run homerun in the top of the 1st inning that put the Yankees ahead, 2-0, against Mariners starter Roenis Elias. After Derek Jeter picked up one of his three singled with one out in the 1st, Ellsbury smacked his 4th homerun of the season into the right field seats.
Ellsbury made a great play later in the game, robbing Robinson Cano of extra base with a great leaping catch at the wall. However, Ellsbury would later leave the game in the 7th for right hip tightness, something that popped up earlier this week on Kansas City. For now, all we can do is hold our breath for the guy that is now on a 16-game hitting streak.
Logan Morrison put the Mariners on the board with a solo homerun to right field off of Whitley in the 2nd, probably the worst mark to his name on the night.
Alfonso Soriano tacked on a pair of runs in the 3rd inning, extending the Yankees' lead to 4-1. Jeter singled and Ellsbury walked to open the inning, then after a Mark Teixeira fly-out, Soriano doubled to the wall in left-center field, scoring both Jeter and Ellsbury.
An inning later, Jeter singled off of Dominic Leone for his third hit of the night, bringing home both Brian Roberts and John Ryan Murphy, who walked and singled against Elias to begin the 4th inning. That put the Yankees up 6-1, their largest lead in a while.
The Mariners were able to add on just one more run against Whitley in the 5th inning when Brad Miller hit a one-out double -- his second hit of the game -- and James Jones singled two batters later to make it a 6-2 ballgame.
But that was all Whitley would allow, as he was impressive for the second straight outing. No, wait, he's been impressive in each of his outings this season since being called up in May.
He entered the 8th inning with just 78 pitches, working very efficiently with six strikeouts through the first seven innings. Joe Girardi pulled him with two outs in the 8th to bring on Matt Thornton, who hadn't pitched since May 4.
But Whitley this season, though. He's been much better than I, or anybody, expected. Behind Tanaka, this kid has been the team's best start over the past month.
Thornton walked Cano then retired Kyle Seager to end the 8th. Shawn Kelley opened the 9th inning for his first outing off of the DL, but his first big league outing since May 6 didn't go very well. Stefan Romero flew out to open the inning, but back-to-back doubles by Dustin Ackley and Morrison put a run on the board, and David Robertson into the game to record his 16th save of the season with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
After completing this sweep, the Yankees will continue this west coast swing with a three-game series in Oakland that starts on Friday with a 10:05 pm game against the Athletics. David Phelps will face off with the A's young stud Sonny Gray.