SEATTLE (AP) — Ben Gamel showed the Yankees his value as an everyday player.
Gamel, who began his career with New York, homered early, doubled and scored on Nelson Cruz’s 10th-inning single that lifted the Seattle Mariners to a 6-5 win Saturday night.
“I can’t thank this organization enough for giving me an opportunity,” said Gamel, acquired from the Yankees last August. “It’s been kind of an up-and-down career so far. . Love it over here.”
Masahiro Tanaka had another shaky outing and New York trailed 4-2 before Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 32nd home run, a sixth inning drive against Steve Cishek. Matt Holliday’s sacrifice fly tied the score in the eighth, but former Yankee Robinson Cano homered against David Robertson leading off the bottom half.
“The pitch was about as good as I could throw it,” said Robertson, who returned to the Yankees this week in a trade from the Chicago White Sox. “I don’t think I could do anything better with it.”
Edwin Diaz blew a save for the fourth time in 22 chances when Didi Gregorius walked leading off the ninth, pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury stole second and Torreyes, starting because Starlin Castro’s ailing right hamstring is causing another trip to the disabled list, followed with a single.
Gamel opened the 10th with a double against Adam Warren (2-2), Cano was intentionally walked and Cruz lined a pitch to left for his AL-leading 75th RBI.
“I saw Warren yesterday and knew how he pitched me last night,” said Gamel, hitting .321 after beginning the season at Triple-A Tacoma. “I kind of had a pitch in mind and I got it.”
Tony Zych (4-2) pitched a perfect 10th, throwing called third strikes past Clint Frazier and Judge.
New York, which won the first two games of the four-game series, heads into Sunday 0-8-2 in series since sweeping Baltimore from June 9-11. The Yankees went 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position and fell to 9-19 in one-run games.
“Some of them have been us coming back and getting close,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We had some opportunities to score that were missed today and to me that was the difference.”
Tanaka allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, raising his ERA to 5.37.
Mike Zunino and Gamel hit solo homers in a four-run third against Tanaka, who has allowed 26 homers — one more than his previous big league high.
Danny Valencia and Mitch Haniger hit run-scoring singles in the inning.
“The third inning, obviously that wasn’t good but you just try to turn things around and just being able to put up some zeros after that inning I think that’s a positive I can take out of this outing,” Tanaka said through a translator.
Gamel, who played in six games with the Yankees last year after seven seasons in their minor league system, also prevented a run in the first. Brett Gardner walked to open. Clint Frazier followed with a drive off the left-field wall, but Gamel played the ricochet perfectly and fired a strike to second to get Frazier, who slid past the bag.
“I got a carom right back to me, so I knew I had a play at second,” Gamel said. “I was just trying to give Robbie a good hop.”
RHP David Phelps, acquired from Miami on Thursday for four minor leaguers, made his Mariners debut in the seventh inning and retired all four hitters he faced.
Yankees: Castro is expected to be placed on the DL on Sunday, manager Joe Girardi said. Activated off the DL on July 15, Castro reinjured his hamstring on Wednesday at Minnesota. After playing twice in Seattle, Castro had an MRI on Saturday. INF Tyler Wade was expected to be recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Ronald Torreyes started at 2B Saturday night.
Mariners: CF Jarrod Dyson crashed into the wall attempting to haul in Garrett Cooper’s triple in the fifth inning. Dyson finished the inning, but was replaced in the sixth by Guillermo Heredia. “I kind of jammed my toe a little bit, so it’s day-to-day right now,” Dyson said. “Nothing major, just day-to-day.”
Yankees: LHP Caleb Smith (0-1, 6.00), who made his debut in relief on Monday, was announced after Saturday’s game as the starter for Sunday. RHP Luis Cessa (0-3, 4.61) originally was scheduled to start.
Mariners: RHP Yovani Gallardo (4-7, 5.59), removed from the rotation after struggling early, makes his first start since June 17. He was 1-0 with an 0.79 ERA in four relief appearances, allowing one earned run in 11 1/3 innings. He is 2-3 with a 6.47 ERA in six starts against the Yankees.