Mariners 3, Yankees 2

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NEW YORK (AP)—A blown call and a big swing by Adrian Beltre against Mariano Rivera helped the Seattle Mariners gain a comeback victory.

Beltre hit a tiebreaking homer off Rivera in the ninth inning, and Seattle took advantage of a huge break on a not-even-close play at second base to beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Monday night.

“We’ll take it,” Willie Bloomquist said. “It’s just a good thing there’s no instant replay in baseball.”

A late rally gave the Mariners a four-game split at Yankee Stadium and cost Matt DeSalvo a win in his impressive major league debut.

One night after Roger Clemens’ big announcement that he’ll pitch in pinstripes this season, New York got seven innings of three-hit ball from DeSalvo. The right-hander walked three and left with a 2-1 lead before an incorrect call by second base umpire Gerry Davis helped Seattle tie the score.

Jose Vidro broke his bat on an infield single with two outs in the eighth against Kyle Farnsworth. Bloomquist ran for Vidro and stole second, though replays showed he was clearly out—by at least a foot—on a strong throw by catcher Jorge Posada to second baseman Robinson Cano.

Yankees manager Joe Torre wasn’t around to argue—he was serving a one-game suspension for his role in a skirmish between the teams Sunday. Bench coach Don Mattingly, running the team in Torre’s absence, never budged from the dugout.

“You can’t see it. The guys out there didn’t really argue. I didn’t have to go out there to protect anybody,” Mattingly said, sitting in Torre’s office chair.

Given another chance, the Mariners capitalized. Kenji Johjima, moved from seventh in the lineup to the No. 3 spot Monday, looped a soft single to right that drove in Bloomquist.

“It’s the only break we got in the four games. We took advantage of it when it happened,” manager Mike Hargrove said.

The boos from the crowd of 47,424 were probably directed more at Davis than Farnsworth. After seeing the replay, a gracious Davis admitted he missed the call—badly.

“The throw was to the first-base side and pulled Robinson toward me a little bit, so I couldn’t see the runner’s hands. Normally when the runner is tagged on his backside, his hands are at the bag. That obviously wasn’t the case tonight,” Davis said.

Rivera (1-3) retired his first two batters in the ninth before Beltre, dropped from second to seventh in the order, drove a high pitch over the left-center fence for his fifth home run.

“I think it was a cutter up and in,” Beltre said. “I hit the ball good, but the wind was blowing in. When I hit it, I hoped it was going out.”

It was the second homer of the season off Rivera, who gave up three all of last year. Lacking regular work, he has an 8.44 ERA.

“I felt good. I was throwing strikes. One missed pitch and it was a home run,” Rivera said. “I thought the ball might be caught. I was surprised that it was a home run.”

George Sherrill (1-0) struck out two in a hitless eighth for the win, and J.J. Putz got three outs for his seventh save in seven chances.

After Johnny Damon’s one-out single in the ninth, Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder’s choice. Jeter moved up on a wild pitch, but Putz struck out Bobby Abreu looking to end it.

Light-hitting Doug Mientkiewicz put the Yankees ahead 2-1 with a two-out RBI double in the fifth. Mientkiewicz, who began the day batting .194, slapped his hands together after sliding into second. The hit scored Posada, who doubled with one out off starter Miguel Batista.

By putting DeSalvo on the mound, the injury-ravaged Yankees became the first team in major league history to use 10 starting pitchers in its first 30 games. The 26-year-old right-hander was 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.

DeSalvo, who did not strike out a batter, is to pitch again Saturday in Seattle.

“When I started, I just wanted to get out of the first inning. Then I just wanted to get out of the second,” he said. “It’s nothing fancy. I didn’t want to strike out anybody or anything. It was a step-by-step thing.”

DeSalvo gave up a double to his first hitter, Ichiro Suzuki, who scored on Raul Ibanez’s two-out single.

Damon and Jeter opened the bottom of the first with singles to put runners at the corners, and New York tied it on Abreu’s RBI grounder back to the mound. Batista tried for a double play but didn’t get it.

Batista allowed two runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. Eric O’Flaherty and Chris Reitsma got the Mariners out of a seventh-inning jam.

Notes

The Yankees became the first team to start six rookie pitchers in its first 30 games since the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Yankees reliever Scott Proctor was suspended four games by the commissioner’s office for throwing inside to Yuniesky Betancourt on Sunday, but appealed and remains available to pitch until a hearing is held and a ruling is issued. … Mientkiewicz finished with a pair of doubles. … Seattle scored four runs in the final three games of the series after breaking out for 15 in the opener Friday night.

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