Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly capped a three-run seventh inning, as the New York Yankees beat Seattle, 9-5, in the second portion of a three-game set.
Robinson Cano hit a two-run single and Jorge Posada added a two-run homer in a productive first inning for the Yankees, who were shut out in the series opener and won for the fourth time in their last five games.
The Yankees entered Saturday with a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the American League East standings.
New York starting pitcher Javier Vazquez lasted just three-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. Chad Gaudin limited the Mariners to one hit in three innings of relief, while Boone Logan (1-0) tossed a flawless seventh to pick up the win.
Ichiro Suzuki homered to leadoff both the game and the third for Seattle, which also received a mammoth blast from Russell Branyan in the first.
Jason Vargas (9-6) gave up seven runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He had won his last three starts.
Ichiro sent Vazquez’s third offering of the game over the wall in right- center. One out later, Branyan destroyed a 3-1 pitch, becoming the first player to reach the fourth deck in right field at new Yankee Stadium.
New York, though, countered in the bottom of the frame to take a 4-2 lead.
Ichiro’s second home run cut the deficit to one in the third. Seattle then tied the game, when three consecutive two-out singles by Jose Lopez, Franklin Gutierrez and Casey Kotchman plated a run. Josh Bard walked to load the bases, but Vazquez got Michael Saunders to fly out to end inning.
Vargas settled down after the rough first inning, retiring 15 in a row before Cano singled with two outs in the sixth. Vargas struck out Marcus Thames to end the frame and fanned Posada to begin the seventh.
However, the left-hander was pulled in favor of Jamey Wright after yielding three straight singles, and the last by Eduardo Nunez — his first major league hit — drove in the go-ahead run.
Derek Jeter greeted the new pitcher with an RBI single to right. Nick Swisher followed with a walk and Teixeira lofted a fly ball to right to score Nunez.
Mariano Rivera came on to record the final out in the eighth, as the Mariners left men on first and second.
New York extended its lead in the home half on a rare fielding error by Kotchman and a fielder’s choice by Ramiro Pena. The miscue snapped a 274-game errorless streak for Kotchman, the longest by a first baseman in the majors.
Rivera recorded his 25th save despite allowing a run in the ninth on a fielder’s choice by Branyan.
The Yankees placed third baseman Alex Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf after Saturday’s game. He returned to the lineup as the designated hitter for Friday’s series opener after a three-game absence, only to leave after just one at-bat with tightness in the calf area. Nunez made the first start of his major league career Saturday at third base in Rodriguez’s absence…Kotchman hadn’t committed an error since June 20, 2008…Ichiro recorded the fifth multi-homer game of his career…The Yankees improved to 66-0 this season when leading at the end of the eighth inning.