Tied at five in the bottom of the eighth, Melky Cabrera delivered an RBI double to score pinch-runner Brett Gardner, lifting the Yanks past the M’s.
The RBI in the eighth was one of three Cabrera drove in on the night, as he knocked in Jorge Posada with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second, and he grounded into a force out in the bottom of the fourth allowing Robinson Cano to score.
“He’s had some real big hits for us,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said of Cabrera.
“The walk-offs are great, and his numbers from the seventh inning on are great.”
Padding the lead in the bottom of the eighth, Derek Jeter singled to score Nick Swisher and Cabrera.
The Yankees received extra offensive help in the game from Hideki Matsui, who reached on a throwing error by Mariners’ third baseman Chris Woodward enabling Cano to score in the bottom of the second, and Alex Rodriguez who blasted his 12th home run on the year, a two run shot in the bottom of the seventh.
The Mariners put five runs on the board tonight starting with a solo homer from Ronny Cedeno in the top of the third. They later received a two-run single in the top of the fifth from Franklin Gutierrez.
In the top of the eighth Seattle tacked on two more runs with an RBI single from Kenji Johjima and a sacrifice fly from Russell Branyan, completing their offense on the night.
Joba Chamberlain took the hill for the Yankees tonight, and turned in a good outing. He lasted 5.1 innings, gave up three earned runs on nine hits, walked three, and struck out four.
“I got into some long counts,” Chamberlain said to the media after the game.
“There are days when you don’t have your best stuff, but it is part of learning and growing pains.”
Although he blew his first save this season, Brian Bruney gets the win in relief and now has a record of 3-0.
Mariano Rivera nailed down his 19th save of the year and 501st of his career, coming off the milestone 500th against the Mets on Sunday night.
Rivera had also thrown out the honorary first pitch of the game in respect of his achievement on Sunday night.
“I don’t know why they made me do it,” Rivera said of the pre-game first pitch.
“But they gave me opportunity, so I took it.”
The Yanks are now winners of six straight games and a season-high 12 games above .500.
Tomorrow night the Yankees will have a chance to take the series from the Mariners, as they play game two from the Bronx.
Andy Pettitte (7-3, 4.38 ERA) will look to keep the Yankees rolling against Jarrod Washburn (4-5, 3.22 ERA).
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