Hiroki Kuroda and Jeremy Bonderman have taken drastically different paths to Friday night's matchup in Seattle, where the Yankees will go for a fifth straight win when they meet the Mariners.
Kuroda, quietly becoming the Yankees' de facto ace this season, has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the Majors since coming to the United States from Japan in 2003. Until Sunday, Bonderman hadn't made a Major League start in more than 2 1/2 years.
Bonderman gave up seven runs on nine hits and couldn't make it out of the fifth inning of a 10-0 loss to the Twins in Minnesota.
"He just has to go out there and take what he learned from this and make the adjustments," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said after Bonderman's first start of the season. "He can't let this one beat him up. It's his first time back in a while, and that's significant, too. Have some good work days and go out there and just be better next time."
Now, after taking 975 days between starts, Bonderman has a more typical rhythm with four days of rest. Still, during the right-hander's last full Major League season, he posted a 5.53 ERA and never has had one below 4.00.
Meanwhile, Kuroda has offered nothing but excellence for the Yankees' strong starting rotation. The right-hander has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in every season in the Majors. He's on pace for his best season yet this year, boasting a 2.59 ERA.
Kuroda has been roughed up a bit of late, having allowed three and five runs, respectively, in two of his past three starts, but he's gone seven or more innings in seven of his 12 starts this season.
Yankees: Cano breaks out of slump
Robinson Cano busted out of a 2-for-20 skid in a big way in Thursday's 6-1 win at Safeco Field. The second baseman drilled his 15th home run of the season in the third inning.
Mariners: Seager keeps surging
• With a sixth-inning single to center on Thursday, Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak into double digits.
The infielder has now hit safely in 10 straight games, a stretch during which he's batted .385 (15-for-39). Seager has also now recorded a hit in 43 of 58 games this season.
But they're not just empty hits. Seager doubled home shortstop Brendan Ryan in the eighth inning for the Mariners' only run on Thursday. He leads Seattle with 12 two-out RBIs this year.
• Raul Ibanez was a postseason hero for the Yankees last year after slugging a record three home runs in the ninth inning or later during a single postseason.
The outfielder has carried that power surge into 2013, reaching double-digit home runs for the 13th straight season. He joins David Ortiz and White Sox slugger Adam Dunn as the only players with 10 or more jacks in every season since 2001.
• For nine straight games between May 25 and June 2, the Yankees didn't score more than six runs. In the four games since, they have scored at least six runs three times, including Thursday night's win.
• Despite Bonderman's struggles, no batter with at least 10 plate appearances against him has struggled more than Lyle Overbay. The veteran first baseman is just 1-for-16 (.063) in his career against Bonderman.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.