The nightmarish road trip is finally over. The Yankees were awfully close to finishing this West Coast swing 1-6 but thanks to some late game heroics, they salvaged a series win against the Seattle Mariners.
Once again the Yankees struck early with a solo home run by Derek Jeter in the first inning but they were shut down Hisashi Iwakuma after that shot for four innings. Iwakuma pitched five innings, gave up one run, six hits, struck out three and walked three.
Ivan Nova struggled with control today and because of that his day was done after only five innings. He gave up two runs on two hits – in the first inning – and walked a career-hit six batters. He also struck five and threw 107 pitches.
After Nova walked the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth, Joe Girardi called on Clay Rapada who got Mike Carp to ground into a 3-6 double play. Then Girardi brought David Phelps into the game and he got Casper Wells swinging. The Yankees went down quietly in the top of the seventh, as did the Mariners in their half of the inning.
Just like in last night’s game, the fireworks happened in the eighth inning, only this time the fireworks were four runs by the Yankees to give them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The inning started with Derek Jeter getting hit by a pitch thrown by Josh Kinney. (That’s weird. A Yankee getting hit by a pitch in Seattle? That hasn’t happened at all this series.) The Mariners brought in Lucas Luetge to face Robinson Cano who greeted him with single. Mark Teixeira followed Cano with a single of his own to load the bases.
Now, this is the time in the game when everyone began to get nervous. Bases loaded with no outs and the Yankees have not mixed well at all lately. And when Curtis Granderson popped out to Kyke Seager in foul territory, everyone’s sense of deja vu was kicking in.
This time, thankfully, the Yankees won the battle. Nix rewarded his manager with a hard hit double to the left centerfield gap. Jeter, Cano and Teixeira all scored and the Yankees were up 4-2.
David Robertson relieved Phelps and threw a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts and a groundout. After the Yankees’ quiet top of the ninth, Rafael Soriano came in to close the game. He got two quick outs before giving up a soft single to Casper Wells – which turned out to be the only hit the bullpen would give up today. He got Carlos Peguero to strikeout swinging to end the game and picked up his 26th save.