The Yankees (28-25) beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 in 11 innings for their second consecutive win in Seattle after losing three out of four games in Oakland against the Athletics. Garrett Jones, who came in as a pinch hitter for Chris Young in the eighth inning, won the game for the Yankees since he smashed a homer to right center that drove in Stephen Drew and Brett Gardner.
Jones, who went 2-3 with those three RBIs after coming into the game, now has nine hits in his last 18 at-bats after previously only having one hit in 22 at-bats. His average is now a respectable .254 and on May 20 it was a very low .150. The Yankees need him to continue to drive in runs and hit homers, and he is capable of doing that because he hit 15 or more homers in every season from 2009-2014 and drove in 86 runs in 2010 and 2012.
Jones has been a backup this season because he has Mark Teixeira ahead of him at first, Carlos Beltran ahead of him in right and Alex Rodriguez ahead of him at DH.
“Just know what my purpose and spot on the team is going to be and just try to do the best I can at it,” he said of what he’s changed over the past few weeks. “Right now I think I feel comfortable with the routine and mentally feel in a better place in the spot I’m in.”
Jones hit what ended up being the game-winning homer off of reliever Joe Beimel. Joe Girardi has been impressed with the way Jones has performed the last two weeks and knows that he is able to hit the ball out of the ballpark.
“The last two weeks, he’s swung the bat really well,” said manager Joe Girardi. “We’ve got him going, and he has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. … He knows Beimel. He’s seen Beimel. He had an idea of his pitches.”
Mark Teixeira extended his hitting streak to four games in the third inning as his double to left scored Brett Gardner for the first run of the game. It was his fifth RBI in his last two games and he is now up to 40 on the season, which is first in the American League and fourth in all of baseball. His 15 homers are tied with Josh Donaldson for second in the AL, and the Yankees would not have a one-game lead for first place in the AL East without him.
The Mariners scored a run in the third and a run in the fifth after an Austin Jackson double, but Stephen Drew’s double to deep right that scored Chase Headley tied the score in the ninth inning. The offensive stars for the Yankees during this game were two players who have struggled this season and who the Yankees have not gotten much from offensively.
Justin Wilson, who got the win after not allowing any runs in the 10th inning, made a great diving catch on a Rickie Weeks bunt attempt for a double play.
CC Sabathia pitched much better than he did in his previous start (five earned runs in six innings) as he only allowed two runs in 5.2 innings. Sabathia gave up nine hits and allowed two walks, but he was able to record six key strikeouts, pitch well with men on base in addition to getting Wellington Castillo to ground into a double play to end the fourth inning.
After allowing two homers in his previous start, Sabathia was able to rebound to prevent a round tripper in this outing. The Mariners have the fourth most homers in the America League, led by Nelson Cruz’s league leading 18, so it is a positive sign that the was able to prevent them from hitting one. Sabathia has a high 5.45 ERA, but this was his fourth start allowing two runs or less in addition to his start where he pitched seven innings and allowed three runs.
Andrew Miller allowed two hits in the 11th including an RBI single to former Yankee great Robinson Cano to make the score 5-3, but he was able to get his 16th save (3rd most in AL) of the season. This was only the second game that he has allowed a runner to score this season (he allowed two runs on May 19) and his two strikeouts gave him 37 in 23.1 innings.
Carlos Beltran will not play in Wednesday’s day game (3:40 EST) because he fouled a ball off his right instep during Tuesday’s game. Masahiro Tanaka will make his anticipated return from the disabled list and make his first major-league start since allowing one run on April 23. Tanaka will be limited to about 80 pitches after making 62 pitches in his start on May 27 for Triple-A Scranton.
The Yankees will look to win three games in a row since they did so on May 1-3 against the Boston Red Sox.