Kyle Seager blasted a pair of home runs, but Alex Rodriguez swatted the one that counted, an opposite-field solo shot off Joe Beimel in the seventh inning that lifted the New York Yankees to a 4-3 victory (box score) over the Mariners (41-49). They failed to heed manager Lloyd McClendon’s pre-game urging “to hit the re-set button” in the second half and “play to our capabilities.”
While A-Rod’s seventh-inning jolt — Beimel threw a sinker that didn’t sink — erased Seager’s two long balls and represented the game winner, the Mariners again squandered a prime opportunity. In the second inning, the Mariners had two on with one out, then the bases loaded with two down, and couldn’t push a runner across when Mike Zunino fanned.
Seager’s home runs were his 13th and 14th of the season and his two-homer game marked the sixth such contest of his career. He accounted for all runs. Seager has a seven-game hitting streak. Zunino ended an 0-for-12 streak with a single to right in the fifth inning and finished 1-for-3.
In his return to the Bronx, Robinson Cano went 0-for-4 on only 11 pitches, his average dropping to .249. All-Star Nelson Cruz fanned three times. Austin Jackson went 2-for-4. McClendon used three pinch hitters in the ninth inning, to no avail. Jesus Montero fanned to end the game.
Seattle starter Mike Montgomery departed after six innings and 104 pitches, having allowed three earned runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and three walks. Montgomery, who had seven K’s through four innings, has a no-decision and a loss in his last two outings after three consecutive victories, including two shutouts. The Mariners have recorded 53 quality starts, fourth-most in the AL.
Tom Wilhelmsen, summoned from AAA Tacoma Friday, worked 0.2 innings in relief without damage.
“He did a nice job overall. I think he’s shown over several starts that he has some poise out there. Where he gets in trouble is when he leaves stuff in the middle of the plate. But he did a real nice job” — McClendon on Montgomery.
“A-Rod was hitting less than .200 off lefties and Beimel just left a pitch up. It was just a mistake pitch. We left one pitch up and lost the ball game” — McClendon.
The loss snapped Seattle’s five-game winning streak at Yankee Stadium . . . The Mariners are 5-6 in their past 11, 21-22 on the road and 36-43 against the American League . . . Fifty-one of Seattle’s 90 games have been decided by two or fewer runs . . . At the end of the second inning, with New York’s Rob Refsnyder batting, Zunino was tagged with catcher’s interference for the first time in his career.
The Mariners and Yankees play the second of three in the Bronx Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 a.m., PT. Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1, 5.22) will oppose former Mariner Michael Pineda ((9-5, 3.64).