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06/29/10 6:34 PM ET

Rookies may aid Yankees vs. Felix

Two recognizable names -- Javier Vazquez and Felix Hernandez -- will take the hill in the second act of a three-game series between the Yankees and Mariners on Wednesday, but it could be two lesser-known players who steal the spotlight.

Yankees rookies Colin Curtis and Chad Huffman are starting to make their mark. Curtis could see some action at designated hitter, according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

"I really like the way Colin Curtis has swung the bat," Girardi said. "We can possibly think of DHing [him] for other outfielders on a certain day. It's a pretty good lineup."

Huffman started in left field during Tuesday's 7-4 Yankees loss and went 0-for-4. Curtis has two hits in his six at-bats this season.

The pair was instrumental in the Yankees' come-from-behind victory against the Dodgers on Sunday.

"For those two young men to do that in their first couple of weeks in the big leagues is pretty amazing," Girardi said.

As for the Mariners, the club is trying to get back on track and stay in the hunt in the American League West. On Tuesday, Cliff Lee pitched his third straight complete game. The win marked Seattle's seventh victory in its past 10 games.

"You can look at a lot of things affected us early," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "Losing Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe in the bullpen. A lot of one-run games we won last year didn't go our way. Where we're at right now, playing pretty good baseball over the last 10 days, we can continue to move that direction. We've added a bat [Russell Branyan] we think gives us a chance to win, and that's what we're working on right now."

Still, the Mariners are hardly within shouting distance of the first-place Rangers in the AL West.

"It's real easy to try to look into the future, but we're in Yankee Stadium trying to beat the New York Yankees right now," Wakamatsu said. "That's what we care about. You have to play flawless baseball in this park, and that's what we're looking to do."

Mariners: Branyan a needed threat
Branyan is expected to get most of the playing time at first base going forward. He leads the team with 10 home runs and could provide a boost on the field -- and in the clubhouse.

"Just his presence is going to be huge," veteran Mike Sweeney said. "He might go out and get three hits, he might not. Just his presence in the lineup -- pitchers do fear him. I'm sure the Yankees remember the ball he hit to dead center field beyond the monuments. He put up 22 home runs in the first half last year. Hopefully, he can duplicate that the second half this year. Hopefully, he's going to be a good part of this big turnaround."

Yankees: Teixeira finding stroke
Mark Teixeira extended his hitting streak to 10 games on Tuesday and is batting .268 (11-for-41) with seven runs scored, three home runs and 10 RBIs during the stretch. ... Brett Gardner was out of the Yankees' starting lineup on Tuesday, as he nurses a right wrist contusion suffered when he was hit by a Clayton Kershaw fastball on Sunday. "They're talking it could be a couple of days -- it could be day-to-day," Girardi said. "He's progressing. We're just evaluating every day." ... Peter Brady of Brookfield, Conn., was chosen as the Yankees' "All-Star Among Us" for his work with Handy Dandy Handy Man Ministry, an initiative he started in 1998 as a single volunteer. ... Marcus Thames is expected to start at DH for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.

Worth noting
For the first time since he took a personal leave of absence on June 4, pitching coach Dave Eiland was back with the Yankees on Tuesday. ... Yankees president Randy Levine, chief operating officer Lonn Trost, general manager Brian Cashman and right-hander Joba Chamberlain participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for Heritage Field, a new 10.8-acre park to be built on the footprint of the original Yankee Stadium. ... The Mariners switched catchers on Tuesday, activating switch-hitter Josh Bard from the 15-day disabled list and designating Eliezer Alfonzo for assignment. ... Mariners closer David Aardsma rejoined the team on Tuesday after missing two games to be with his wife in Arizona for the birth of their first child, a son named David Zachary. ... The Mariners have used 63 lineups in 76 games.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.