Martinez extends home run streak against sinking Seattle
NEW YORK – Tino Martinez is providing the offense that Jason Giambi isn’t.
Martinez homered for the fourth consecutive game, a two-run drive that sent the suddenly streaking New York Yankees to a 7-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Chien-Ming Wang got his first major league victory as New York overcame a two-run deficit and extended a regular-season winning streak to four for the first time since September.
“Our pitching staff has done a great job of getting us on this roll here,” Martinez said. “Our confidence level obviously is growing.”
Wang (1-1), a right-hander from Taiwan starting because Jaret Wright is on the disabled list, allowed runs in each of the first two innings but only two hits after that. He became the fifth straight Yankees starter to allow three runs or fewer, giving up three runs and four hits in 7 1/3 innings. The crowd of 39,780 gave him a standing ovation when he was taken out.
“He throws strikes,” Yankees catcher John Flaherty said of Wang. “He worked fast. He challenges you to put the ball in play.”
Before the game, Yankees manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman met with Giambi, whose average is down to .195 following a 0-for-15 slide. Giambi was asked whether he thought he would benefit from a minor league assignment, but he will remain with the Yankees for the road trip that starts Friday in Oakland.
Martinez, a former Seattle player who is back with the Yankees for the first time since 2001, has taken over at first base in Giambi’s absence and already has eight homers and 18 RBIs. A fan favorite, he was given a curtain call after his homer in the five-run third put New York ahead 4-2.
Aaron Sele (2-4) didn’t make it out of the third and the Mariners lost for the ninth time in 10 games. Sele dropped to 6-11 against the Yankees, giving up seven runs – six earned – and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Ichiro Suzuki led off the game with his third triple of the season and scored on Randy Winn’s grounder. Wilson Valdez’s RBI single in the second put the Mariners ahead 2-0.
Bret Boone hit a two-run double in the eighth off Tom Gordon, giving him 1,001 RBIs.
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