Sabathia nears perfection as Mariners lose 17 in a row

NEW YORK Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:24am EDT

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch to the Seattle Mariners in the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 26, 2011. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch to the Seattle Mariners in the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - CC Sabathia flirted with a perfect game as he consigned the Seattle Mariners to a record-extending 17th straight loss in the New York Yankees' 4-1 victory on Tuesday.

Sabathia (15-5) blew away the Mariners with a career-high 14 strikeouts and took a perfect game into the seventh inning as the powerful left-hander pushed Seattle closer to the wrong side of the record books.

The Mariners are already well beyond their previous longest winless run of 14 set in 1992 and four more losses would match the Baltimore Orioles' American League-record 21-game losing streak to start the 1988 season.

The modern Major League record for successive losses is 23, set by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961.

Seattle's offense was virtually non-existent against the Yankees (61-40) as they struck out 18 times and managed just one hit on a single by Brendan Ryan in the seventh.

A pair of rain delays in the sixth and seventh innings could not revive the Mariners (43-60), who loaded the bases on three walks with no outs in the eighth but managed just one run to extend their franchise-worst slide.

Reigning American League Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez will take the mound on Wednesday in an attempt to deliver his team's first win since July 5.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

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