HR from Iannetta powers Mariners past Yanks

April 16th, 2016

NEW YORK -- On a night where getting on base came pretty easy for both teams, only the Mariners could take advantage of it Friday.

Working off the strength of three RBIs from Chris Iannetta -- including a go-ahead home run in the fifth -- the Mariners snagged the opener of this weekend's three-game tilt versus the Yankees, 7-1. Right-hander Nathan Karns earned his first win for the Mariners, striking out seven in five innings. He walked four and allowed five hits in the outing. The only run Karns allowed was a home run to Brett Gardner in the first.

"We played a nice ballgame," said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose club won its second straight since snapping a five-game skid. "Offensively we got the line moving, kept pressure on multiple innings, it was a nice job offensively and our bullpen really did a nice job tonight as well. Karns hung in there and tightroped a little, but he didn't give in and got through five for us."

The Yankees' bats were anemic during scoring opportunities on the night, leaving 12 on base and notching an 0-for-12 mark with runners in scoring position. Right-hander Luis Severino didn't have his best stuff, allowing four runs and eight hits while striking out only two over 5 2/3 innings.

"It just wasn't our night. It really wasn't our night," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "I thought we did a good job of getting guys on base and battling. They were really trying to hit the corners and we took our walks when we needed to, but because of that they were able to really hit their pitches when they needed to."

Players and coaches from both teams -- and throughout Major League Baseball -- wore No. 42 on Friday to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day.


Road warrior: Iannetta delivered a two-run homer in the fifth off Severino on a well-struck line drive over the left-field fence, projected at 408 feet by Statcast™. Iannetta's second homer of the year gave Seattle a 3-1 lead and was Seattle's 15th long ball in the first 10 games. Iannetta added an RBI single in the eighth and went 3-for-3 with a walk, raising his on-base percentage in four road games to .909 (6-for-7 with three walks), compared to his .111 batting average and .200 OBP in five games at Safeco. More >

"That' s the name of the game for me," Iannetta said of reaching base four times. "I want to contribute. I want to win. Winning is first and foremost. But I don't feel like a baseball player unless I contribute to that. Any time I can do that I'm happy."

Stranding, not landing: The fourth inning couldn't have started much better for the Yankees. With the game tied at 1, Dustin Ackley led off with a walk. Starlin Castro singled, moving Ackley to third. A Karns wild pitch moved Castro to second. But Karns worked his way out of trouble, striking out Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury in succession, with Headley and Ellsbury going down looking. More >

"That kind of goes in cycles at times," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes you can struggle in those situations. And that's the difference between winning and losing almost every night. We've struggled the last couple of days doing it with runners on and that's why we've lost a couple in a row."

Middle yields little: With Alex Rodriguez out of the lineup, the heart of the Yankees' order couldn't muster much production. Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Ackley and Aaron Hicks (who pinch-hit for Ackley) combined to bat 1-for-11 from the four, five and six holes in the lineup, striking out twice and walking twice.

Little things add up: The Mariners relied heavily on the long ball in their first nine games, with 20 of their 32 runs coming via home runs. But the entire offseason plan was built around adding speed and on-base production, and that approach finally kicked in a bit Friday. Robinson Cano, who came in with five homers in his first seven hits, delivered an RBI single in the fourth and singled and scored in the sixth on Adam Lind's first RBI of the year. Seattle tacked on a big insurance run in the seventh when Ketel Marte singled, stole second, advanced to third on Norichika Aoki's groundout and scored on a Franklin Gutierrez sacrifice fly for a 5-1 lead.

"Unselfish play, guys getting guys over, giving up themselves for their teammates, for the next guy," Servais said. "That's what we've talked about and that's what we need to be. It's not one or two guys in the middle of your lineup every night, it's got to be everybody contributing, and that's what we had tonight."


"That's the ball that got hit really hard and to my right. When you see the ball that comes at the last moment, you just try to put your glove in there and hopefully you got it." -- Castro, on his behind-the-back catch in the third inning

Video: [email protected]: Castro makes a nice catch for a DP

"It's momentum. Dae-Ho [Lee] with the walk-off before we left home, that was huge. Today we kept the game close, the offense got hot and we got the two-run homer by Chris and then we were able to tack on after that. Our offense is producing, our pitching is starting to show up and I think we may hit a streak right here. But for right now, we're 1-0 against the Yankees and we need to come back in here tomorrow and do it all over again." -- Karns


The Mariners have scored 28 runs (7.0 per game) with 10 homers while going 3-1 on the road. They were 1-5 with 11 runs (1.8 per game) and five homers in their first six games at Safeco Field.


Mariners: Felix Hernandez, still seeking his first win of the season despite a 0.69 ERA in two starts, takes on the Yankees in a 10:05 a.m. PT game on Saturday. The 30-year-old is 9-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 19 career starts against the Yankees, including 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA in eight games at new Yankee Stadium. He needs five strikeouts to break Randy Johnson's career record of 2,162 for the Mariners.

Yankees: Veteran left-hander CC Sabathia will make his first home start of the season for the Yankees on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET with a history of success against the Mariners on his side. Sabathia has 12 wins and a 2.61 ERA in 162 career innings against the Mariners, with that ERA being his best against any American League club.

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