SEATTLE (AP) — The room got silent so Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon decided it was a moment to provide a little levity.
“It’s OK. We just lost a game. We’re going to be OK, promise you,” McClendon said with a chuckle.
With the run the surging Mariners have been on, Tuesday night seemed like another game Seattle was going to find a way to win. Instead, it was Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury coming through in the late innings to give the New York Yankees a 3-2 win.
After Seattle had pulled even at 2-2 in the seventh, Jeter’s ground-rule double with one out in the eighth started New York’s rally. Ellsbury followed with an RBI single off reliever Charlie Furbush on a 0-2 pitch that extended his hitting streak to 14 games and gave the Yankees the lead.
“This type of game is the type of win that has been eluding us,” Ellsbury said. “Hopefully, if we can win these types of games we’ll be in great shape.”
Seattle lost for just the second time in 10 games. Hisashi Iwakuma (4-3) struggled through the first inning then cruised into the eighth, giving the Mariners a chance to rally.
But the runs never came. Outside of Cole Gillespie’s RBI single in the first to score Robinson Cano and Dustin Ackley’s two-out single in the seventh to pull Seattle even, the Mariners struggled to get hits with runners in scoring position.
In the second and fourth innings, Seattle had runners in scoring position with two outs and was unable to get one home. Mike Zunino was left standing at third in the second, while Gillespie and Kyle Seager were left and second and third in the fourth. Michael Saunders came inches from a three-run homer in the fourth, but his drive to the deepest point of Safeco Field was caught at the wall by Ellsbury.
“I think the way we swung the bat today didn’t really indicate the score. A lot of guys squared the ball up that really didn’t have any luck,” Ackley said. “That’s going to happen. You’ll have those nights.”
Iwakuma gave up Carlos Beltran’s RBI double in the first that was following by an RBI infield single from Brian McCann that gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. From there, Seattle’s right-hander rolled. He threw 7 1/3 innings and allowed only five base runners after the first inning. He threw season-high 108 pitches, but made a mistake to Jeter with one out in the eighth and the double ended his night.
“Early on it seemed like they had a very good game plan on what I wanted to do,” Iwakuma said through an interpreter. “I had to change from the second inning on and I was able to get quick outs and use more of the inside of the plate.”
The Mariners honored Jeter during a pregame ceremony in his final visit to the city where he made his major league debut in 1995. Jeter was given a seat from the old Kingdome and an engraved watch from former New York teammate Robinson Cano as part of his farewell tour gifts.
Jeter then went out and had two hits and scored two runs.
“He played a nice game. I want to say I wish to hell he didn’t, but he played a nice game,” McClendon said.
New York starter Vidal Nuno and the Yankees bullpen were able to make three runs be enough.
Nuno went 5 2/3 innings and was in line for the victory before Dellin Betances’ problems in the seventh. Betances (4-0) hit Zunino with a 3-1 pitch, saw him advance to second on a wild pitch then score on Ackley’s single. But he picked up the victory thanks to Ellsbury’s hit in the eighth.
David Robertson pitched the ninth for New York to pick up his 15th save.
Notes: Yankees RHP Shawn Kelley is expected to rejoin the club on Wednesday. Kelley’s been out with a back strain. … Seattle signed second-round pick OF Gareth Morgan on Tuesday. Morgan took part in batting practice with the team before the game. … Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder) was returned from his rehab assignment and optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.
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