The New York Yankees finished off a seven-game road trip with only their second win away from the cozy confines of Yankee Stadium, as they came from behind to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2. The Yankees were sluggish on offense until a four-run outburst in the top of the eighth inning propelled them to victory.
For the first seven innings the Yankees looked much like the team which has been unable to mount anything resembling an offensive attack. It has put added pressure on the starting pitching, which has done an excellent job maintaining their composure and keeping their team in games.
Yesterday’s starter, Ivan Nova, was erratic to say the least in allowing six walks in only five innings of work. While he didn’t allow a hit after the first inning, he put plenty of base runners on for the anemic Mariners offense. He was able to minimize the damage to the two first inning runs and once his pitch count got the better of him, the bullpen was in shutdown mode.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the first as Derek Jeter, hitting in the two-hole, launched a solo homer to left field after being brushed back by Seattle’s starter Hisashi Iwakuma. Jeter went on to have a 3-for-4 day.
The teams swapped zeroes until the eighth inning, when the Yankees erupted for four runs highlighted by a three-run bases clearing double by pinch-hitter Jayson Nix. Nix, who will form the lighter portion of a two-headed platoon at third base with Eric Chavez as Alex Rodriguez begins his recuperation from a broken bone in his left hand, ripped a pitch off Mariners reliever Lucas Luetge which split the gap in left center field. He would later come around to score on a RBI single by Russell Martin.
The Yankees bullpen was excellent, allowing only one base runner in four innings while striking out five. David Phelps earned the victory for the Bombers, David Robertson pitched a perfect eighth for the hold, and Rafael Soriano notched his 26th save of the year.
The Yankees (59-39) upped their lead in the American League East back to eight games over the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite a 2-5 road trip the Yankees only gave up two games in the race for the division crown. The series win made boarding a plane much easier, as the Yankees head back to New York ahead of their three-game series with the Boston Red Sox which begins Friday.