NEW YORK -- It is impressive for any pitcher to dominate the Yankees the way Felix Hernandez did this season, but his success against the reigning World Series champions might be one of the most impressive of all-time.
The Mariners right-hander came within three outs Friday night of pitching his fourth consecutive complete game against the Yankees. That would have been the first time it happened to the Bronx Bombers since Blue Jays right-hander Dave Stieb did it in 1983-84.
But Stieb faced Yankees teams that finished third in the AL East both seasons, going 91-71 in '83 and 87-75 in '84.
Hernandez is the first pitcher since Jaime Navarro in 1990-91 to go the distance in three consecutive starts against the 27-time World Series champs.
But Navarro, now the pitching coach for Triple-A Tacoma, faced Yankees teams that went 67-95 in 1990 and 71-71 in '91, finishing fifth in the AL East each season.
None of the Yankees teams that either Stieb or Navarro faced had a lineup dominated by All-Stars like the 2010 version, which also has the best record in the Major Leagues.
Felix also joined Bill Krueger (1991), Jeff Nelson ('95) and Jeff Fassero ('97) as the only Mariners to beat the Yankees three times in the same season.
Moore gets well-deserved day off
NEW YORK -- Under any circumstance, rookie catcher Adam Moore would rather play than sit.
But if there ever is a good time to take a day off, Saturday was the day.
"After a night like that and catching that kind of performance, it's not bad to find out that I have today off and can get ready for tomorrow," Moore said on Saturday, referring to right-hander Felix Hernandez's dominating outing against the Yankees in the series opener Friday night.
"The stuff he had last night -- I can't explain how good he was. That's the best I have ever seen him, even in the game he struck out 13 at home."
Felix held the Yankees scoreless over eight innings, striking out 11.
"I went in and looked at some video this morning," Moore said, "and some of those pitches were moving eight or nine inches, at least. It was ridiculous. I talked to my agent last night and he said a sinker to [Derek] Jeter in the eighth inning moved at least a foot. He had never seen a pitch like that before."
Interim manager Daren Brown, who started Josh Bard at catcher in Saturday's game, commended Moore for the way he caught Felix, although two pitches got past him and advanced runners.
"Felix is not an easy guy to catch," Brown said. "He throws a sinker at 92-93 mph. One may sink two or three inches and another one will sink eight or nine inches. It's not whiffle-ball type action, but sometimes you watch it on TV, and that's what it looks like. I thought Adam did a nice job with him."
Moore said Felix threw an abnormally-high 80 percent sinkers (two-seam fastball) against the Yankees.
Saunders a pregame bookworm
NEW YORK -- Every player has his own routine for getting ready for a game. Some play cards. Others listen to music.
Mariners left fielder Michael Saunders sits in front of his locker and reads a book.
"Everyone has their own way they get away from the game a little bit, and when I have a little down time, I kind of get lost in a book," he said. "That helps me relax and think about something other than baseball."
"You're here for seven hours before the game even starts, so it's tough to keep focused mentally. I get my work done and watch video on how certain pitchers pitch left-handers, but when I have a couple of hours of downtime, I enjoy reading."
His current book of choice, "The Song of Ice and Fire," is a paperback written by George R. Martin. "He's a fantasy author very similar to the 'Lord of the Rings' stuff, which I really like," Saunders said.
"One of my buddies told me about him. This is the second book of a four-book series that actually is coming out on an HBO series. The two I have read so far are really good."
Patience at the plate is working for designated hitter Russell Branyan. He has walked eight times in his past six games. ... The Mariners batted .279 (12-for-43) with runners in scoring position in their five wins on the current road trip, and .150 (3-for-20) in the two losses. ... Ichiro went into Saturday's game with 156 hits, on pace for 207 knocks this season. ... The Mariners have hit at least one home run in a season-high four consecutive games. ... Rookie Michael Saunders returned to the lineup on Saturday against Yankees right-hander Javier Vazquez. Matt Tuiasosopo had started the previous three games in left field.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.