July 1, 2009 in Sports

Yankees outlast patchwork M’s

Geoff Baker The Seattle Times
Associated Press photo

Johnny Damon, left, congratulates Alex Rodriguez.
(Full-size photo)

Tonight: Seattle at New York, 4 p.m. TV: FSN

NEW YORK – So many things seemed to be conspiring against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night that it was tough to tell what would ultimately do them in.

There was the makeshift lineup featuring a backup middle infielder at third base, another at shortstop, a DH in left field and a closer trying to become a starter on the mound. Throw in an umpiring crew that called some questionable check-swing strikeouts and appeared to miss a call at first base, and the 8-5 loss to the New York Yankees seemed like it should have been automatic.

But it wasn’t.

Not on a night when even a homer in the seventh inning by Alex Rodriguez wasn’t enough to derail a M’s squad that scored two in the eighth to tie it. In the end, the M’s finally did collapse in the bottom of the eighth as the Yankees opened with four straight hits – two of them doubles – and three runs off newly installed reliever Sean White.

But not before the Mariners had given the home team all it could handle in their debut before 46,181 fans in a riveting game at the new Yankee Stadium.

This was a walk-strewn battle of relievers-turned-starters for most of the first five innings as Brandon Morrow and Joba Chamberlain emerged locked in a 3-3 tie. That was finally snapped in the seventh inning as Rodriguez drilled a Chris Jakubauskas pitch deep over the left-field wall with a runner on to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

But the Mariners came back to tie it off Brian Bruney in the eighth as Kenji Johjima drove one run home with a single and Russell Branyan added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

That only postponed the inevitable. White came on to pitch the eighth and yielded a double to Hideki Matsui, a bunt single to Nick Swisher, a go-ahead double by Melky Cabrera and a two-run single by Derek Jeter.

Morrow’s biggest problems early came courtesy of walks and Chris Woodward, installed at third base as the replacement for an injured Adrian Beltre. With two on and none out in the second inning, Matsui chopped a ball up the third base line that Woodward had plenty of time to make a play on.

But Woodward bobbled the transfer of the ball to his throwing hand, then compounded the problem by throwing it away at first base. A run scored on the play, and Jorge Posada moved up to third base.

Woodward was charged with two errors on the same play, and Posada wound up scoring the second unearned run of the inning when Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly.

But Ronny Cedeno, who started the game at shortstop, breathed new life into the Mariners. First, he did it in the field to end the problematic second inning. He snared a hard shot that deflected off Woodward and made a strong throw to first for the final out of the frame.

Then, in the top of the third, Cedeno drilled a pitch over the wall in left center to make it 2-1.

Morrow’s control problems led to another New York run in the fourth and a 3-1 Yankees’ lead.

The M’s tied the score in the fifth when Ichiro legged out an infield single, stole second and third, and scored on a Russell Branyan single. Later, Jose Lopez also stole second and scored on a bloop single by Franklin Gutierrez.

Morrow managed to get two outs in the fifth inning, but left with the bases loaded after two more walks.

Jakubauskas came in to get Matsui on a groundout.

Seattle had a good chance to take the lead in the sixth. After a leadoff single by Johjima, Cedeno appeared to beat out a bunt for a single. But first-base umpire Dale Scott called him out. Instead of two on with none out, the M’s went on to strand Johjima.

Yankees 8, Mariners 5

I.Suzuki rf 412011.373
Branyan 1b 301212.303
Jo.Lopez 2b 410011.259
Griffey Jr. lf 400011.213
M.Sweeney dh 500000.263
F.Gutierrez cf 513101.274
Woodward 3b 412001.400
Johjima c 403100.250
Cedeno ss 211100.140
Totals 35512547
Jeter ss 501202.307
Damon lf 412010.291
Teixeira 1b 501001.275
A.Rodriguez 3b 411211.233
Cano 2b 422001.300
Posada c 211020.275
H.Matsui dh 301010.248
Gardner pr-dh 010000.289
Swisher rf 411001.237
Me.Cabrera cf 311301.286
Totals 34811757
Seattle 001020020—5122
New York 02010023x—8110

E—Woodward 2 (2). LOB—Seattle 10, New York 8. 2B—Johjima (4), Damon 2 (19), H.Matsui (13), Me.Cabrera (12). HR—Cedeno (3), off Chamberlain; A.Rodriguez (12), off Jakubauskas. RBIs—Branyan 2 (40), F.Gutierrez (28), Johjima (11), Cedeno (8), Jeter 2 (32), A.Rodriguez 2 (39), Me.Cabrera 3 (31). SB—I.Suzuki 3 (16), Jo.Lopez (2). S—Cedeno 2. SF—Branyan, Me.Cabrera. RLSIP—Seattle 5 (M.Sweeney, Cedeno, Woodward, Branyan, Jo.Lopez); New York 5 (A.Rodriguez 2, Jeter, H.Matsui 2). RMU—Damon. GIDP—Johjima, Teixeira. DP—Seattle 1 (Jo.Lopez, Cedeno, Branyan); New York 1 (A.Rodriguez, Teixeira).

Morrow 4 2/3 531545.14
Jakubauskas 2 1/3 222035.46
White L, 2-1 1433002.48
Chamberlain 5 1/3 933343.89
Coke 2/3 000013.24
Hughes 1000014.34
Bruney W, 3-0 BS, 1-1 1322103.95
Ma.Rivera S, 19-20 1000012.84

Inherited runners-scored—Jakubauskas 3-0, Coke 1-0. IBB—off Bruney (I.Suzuki). T—3:16. A—46,181 (52,325).

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