SEATTLE -- Andy Pettitte turned the clocks back on Saturday afternoon, even if it was only to early April.
The 40-year-old New York Yankees left-hander regained the form he showed early in the season -- not to mention in many Octobers through the years -- and got two RBI singles from Jayson Nix in a 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Pettitte (5-3) was remarkably effective -- and efficient -- on the way to his 250th career win. He allowed three hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings, throwing just 85 pitches. It was only the third time this season that Pettitte has pitched into the eighth inning and the first time he has allowed fewer than two runs in a game since April 9.
Mariano Rivera completed the throwback win with his 630th career save and his 22nd of the season. Rivera gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Seager in the ninth, struck out the next two batters, then walked former Yankee Raul Ibanez before striking out rookie Nick Franklin to finish the game.
Rivera's three ninth-inning strikeouts were a season high.
Pettitte retired the first nine batters he faced, gave up two hits to open the fourth, then set down the next 12 in order to get through the seventh inning with only 78 pitches.
Franklin led off the eighth with a single, then Pettitte got left-handed hitter Michael Saunders to pop out before coming out of the game with a 3-1 lead. Franklin got as far as third base before reliever David Roberts, Pettitte's replacement, got Jason Bay to fly out to right to end the inning.
The Yankees put together back-to-back, two-out hits in the first, including a Robinson Cano RBI single that drove in Mark Teixeira for the first run of the game.
Seattle tied the score 1-1 on a Michael Morse sacrifice fly in the fourth.
In the fifth, a dropped ball by Franklin at second on a potential double play kept the inning alive for Nix to drive in the go-ahead run with an RBI single, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
Nix struck again in the seventh, when he followed a Brett Gardner double with an RBI single -- this time off Seattle reliever Danny Farquhar --for a 3-1 lead.
Mariners starter Joe Saunders gave up a first-inning run but ended up going 6 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs and seven hits before the Mariners turned to Farquhar, a former Yankee farmhand who was acquired in the Ichiro Suzuki trade last July.
Pettitte picked up his first win since May 11. He went on the 15-day disabled list after facing the Mariners in a May 16 game.
NOTES: Mariners 1B Kendrys Morales left Saturday's game after five innings because of back stiffness. Alex Liddi took over at first in the sixth. ... Before Saturday's game, the Mariners recalled IF Carlos Triunfel from Triple-A Tacoma and placed C Jesus Sucre (hand) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 6. ... C Brandon Bantz, who was called up from Tacoma last week, made his major league debut. He started and batted in the No. 9 hole, giving starter Kelly Shoppach a break after 38 consecutive innings in a four-game stretch. ... After Sunday's series finale, the Yankees will get their first off day since May 23.