Yankees 13, Mariners 9
Martinez homered for the fifth straight game and New York rallied twice from big deficits to beat the Seattle Mariners 13-9 on Wednesday for their season-high fifth straight win.
No Yankee has had a home run streak this long since Mattingly—now the club’s hitting coach—tied the major league mark in 1987 with home runs in eight consecutive games.
“It’s incredible,” Alex Rodriguez said. “I asked him if it was that easy.”
Fans chanted Martinez’s name as he rounded the bases, not bad for a guy who had the tough task of replacing the retired Mattingly at first base during his first stint with the Yankees in 1996.
“They never forget what you do here,” Derek Jeter said. “Tino has always been a big-game player.”
The Yankees are off Thursday before heading west.
“I’m very, very happy to have a day off. I could use it,” Martinez said. “I feel good at the plate and I’m seeing the ball well.”
The Yankees lost the opener of their six-game homestand but finished it with their first sweep of the Mariners since August 1999.
It was their first sweep this season.
The loss was the Mariners’ 10th in 11 games.
Martinez golfed a three-run shot to the short porch in right off Matt Thornton to get the Yankees even at 9 in the fourth inning. New York trailed 5-0 after the top of the first, but tied it in the bottom of the inning.
Thornton worked out a jam in relief of Jamie Moyer but then gave up six runs and three home runs in two innings.
“Our team did a great job getting a lot of runs for us, and for me to come out of the bullpen and let it get away is really unacceptable,” he said.
Tony Womack tied a career high and the Yankees’ record with four stolen bases, and scored three times. Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield each had three RBIs. Jorge Posada hit a solo homer in the eighth, New York’s 16th hit.
Both teams hit four home runs and each had five runs, five hits and one error in a first inning that lasted 39 minutes. Moyer and Yankees starter Carl Pavano both threw 34 pitches in the inning and allowed four earned runs.
Both were gone before the fifth.
“You have to make good pitches, and I haven’t done that on a consistent basis,” Pavano said.
Paul Quantrill (1-0) worked two innings in relief to earn the victory.
Martinez has seven home runs in his last eight starts and has taken over the first base job from Jason Giambi, whose career is in limbo.
The slumping Giambi declined a trip to the minor leagues on Tuesday and is expected to be the designated hitter at Oakland on Friday.
Jeter led off the fifth inning with a homer off Thornton (0-3) to put the Yankees back in front. Two batters later Sheffield made it 12-9 with a two-run shot.
The Mariners looked as though they would salvage a second win on their six-game road trip, but Moyer couldn’t make the generous run support hold up.
The 42-year-old left-hander failed in his third attempt to set the Mariners’ record for career victories. He is tied with Randy Johnson, now with the Yankees, at 130 wins.
After starting the season 4-0 in his first five starts, Moyer has allowed 16 earned runs and 33 hits in his next three outings that totaled 8 2-3 innings. The Mariners are 0-3 in those games.
“I don’t feel like I’m that far away. I’ve made some quality pitches the last three games,” Moyer said.
Sheffield walked to load the bases and Matsui cleared them with a double to the left-center field gap to make it 5-3. Posada and Bernie Williams added RBI singles in the inning.
“Sometimes you go out there and have a great day and lose, or have a bad day and win. We had a bad day and lost,” Boone said.
New York grabbed its first lead in the second when Sheffield singled in Womack, who singled and stole two bases.
Richie Sexson hit a three-run shot in the first and Boone followed with a two-run homer off Pavano, who allowed a career-high four in four innings.
Pavano allowed nine runs, but only four earned thanks to two errors by third baseman Rodriguez. Pavano, who gave up 10 of Seattle’s 14 hits, had his third straight no-decision. It is the second time in three starts he hasn’t lasted past the fifth.
Every Yankees starter had a hit. … Suzuki had three. … The Yankees placed reliever Felix Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list because of torn cartilage in his left knee. They purchased the contract of 3B Russ Johnson from Triple-A Columbus. … Before Boone’s shot, Sexson had hit four of Seattle’s previous five homers and nine of the Mariners’ first 20 this season.