NEW YORK -- Throughout the Mariners' recent struggles, one bright light continues to be the play of shortstop Brendan Ryan.
The 27-year-old Ryan is well known as a defensive wizard, but he also had a 10-game hitting streak entering Wednesday and is the top hitter in the American League in road batting average since May 13, at .347 with 18 runs and 17 RBIs in 124 at-bats.
On Tuesday, he recorded the Mariners' lone hit with a seventh-inning single off CC Sabathia in the 4-1 loss to the Yankees.
"He's been playing his butt off out there, both offensively and defensively," said manager Eric Wedge. "He brings a tremendous amount of energy to the ballpark, and there is no quit in him. There's no quit in any of those guys out there. We've been overmatched for a while, but you still have to find a way to win a ballgame, and the only way you're going to do that is if people step up."
Ryan has been one of the few stepping up at the plate, and he found a way to at least get one hit off Sabathia and break up the Yankees ace's perfect-game bid.
"The way he was throwing, I wasn't really trying to work the count," Ryan said. "The first thing you think you can barrel up, you've got to move the bat. He had to throw a strike, and fortunately it was over the middle of the plate. The only thing I didn't do was foul it off, thank goodness. But it didn't mean much."
Ryan took advantage of Sabathia's first 2-0 count in the game.
"I thought, 'If I'm going to get one, this may be a good time to get something to hit,'" he said. "I broke my bat on it. It wasn't like I smashed it in the gap. He threw a fastball for a strike and I just wanted to be ready to hit."