And after the New York Yankees shut down sloppy Seattle again, Mariners manager John McLaren let loose with an unmistakable rage in his voice.
Damon homered and doubled twice to help Mussina win his third straight start in New York's 6-1 victory over the Mariners on Saturday.
One day after co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said he was "disappointed with the way the season has gone," the Yankees (16-16) rapped out 13 hits and beat Seattle for the second time in a row following a three-game sweep by the Detroit Tigers in New York.
"I think we played a pretty all-around game," Damon said.
Afterward, McLaren dressed down his team with a screaming tirade that could be heard outside Seattle's clubhouse.
"Everything he said, he hit the nail right on the head," left fielder Raul Ibanez said. "We're not playing well and we have to pick it up."
The slumping Mariners have lost four in a row, managing only seven runs during that stretch, and eight of 10 overall. They fell to 6-11 on the road and made two more errors after committing four in the first three innings of Friday night's 5-1 loss.
"We're doing a lot of things we can't do. One is not fielding. One is not making the pitch when we have to. It's just something you can't do. That's not winning baseball," McLaren said. "We can't hit for them. It's up to them. We put them out there. If they can't hit, we'll look for other options.
"We spend two hours here cage-hitting and we have nothing to show for it in the game. I'm just very disappointed. We had a very good spring training and we're 13-18. We have to get better. I have to take full responsibility. It's my team. There's not much I can say. We're just not playing good baseball."
The 34-year-old Damon finished with three extra-base hits for the first time since Aug. 19, 2006, at Boston.
"It's the Johnny that I know," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "When Johnny's going right, he's a pain."
Mussina was in control all afternoon, using a sharp curveball and 68 mph changeup to strike out five batters while throwing 84 pitches in six strong innings. He passed Carl Hubbell on the career wins list while tying Jack Morris and Hall of Famer Red Faber for 39th place.
The 39-year-old right-hander improved to 50-20 during May, and 18-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 27 starts against Seattle overall. He is 7-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his past 10 appearances against the Mariners dating to Aug. 17, 2001.
Mussina struck out three in his last inning, drawing calls of "Moooose!" from the crowd of 52,810 on a brisk day with a gametime temperature of 52 degrees. He fanned his final batter, Richie Sexson, with an 89 mph fastball.
"I cut it loose!" Mussina said with a chuckle. "I know the ball's not going to come out of my hand going 93 ever again. So I've got to go with what I have, and so far it's been OK."
Hampered by a lack of run support all season, the 22-year-old Hernandez (2-2) lost his second consecutive start. He gave up 12 hits, one short of his career high, and six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings -- his shortest outing this year.
"Nothing was working for me," Hernandez said.
Seattle tied it in the third on Ichiro Suzuki's two-out RBI single, but New York went back ahead in the bottom half. Damon got things going again with his 400th career double, then asked for the ball as a keepsake. Jeter followed with a run-scoring double and Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single over third base.
Matsui went to second when the ball slipped out of Ibanez's hand, causing him to spike it to the turf for a throwing error. Melky Cabrera made it 4-1 with an RBI single to center that Suzuki bobbled for his first error this season.
Jose Molina snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a leadoff single in the sixth and Damon hit the next pitch to right for his fourth home run, making him 5-for-9 lifetime against Hernandez.
- Suzuki got his fourth stolen base of the series, though replays showed he was out.
- With his 390th double, Jeter passed Joe DiMaggio for fifth place on the franchise list.
- RHP Darrell Rasner, 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in five outings at Triple-A, will start the series finale Sunday for the Yankees in place of injured Phil Hughes. RHP Carlos Silva (3-0, 2.79 ERA) goes for Seattle.
- Girardi said he might give Mussina an extra day of rest the next time through the rotation rather than skip Ian Kennedy's turn. New York has a day off Monday before hosting Cleveland.
- Seattle's four-game skid matches a season high.