Jones, Drew lead Yanks to comeback victory
SEATTLE -- Garrett Jones launched a three-run home run off veteran southpaw Joe Beimel with two out in the top of the 11th inning on Tuesday night to give the Yankees a 5-3 victory over the Mariners.
"He's always been a tough at-bat, especially lefty on lefty," Jones said. "I was just going up there, wanting to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on something. Just hit it hard and make it tough on the defenders there with two outs. I got 2-0 and he gave me a good pitch over the heart of the plate."
"It was a decent pitch, but I was behind and he's probably looking for a fastball there," said Beimel. "I was trying to keep it down and away, but it kind of just went down and he hit it. That's what happens when you fall behind like that."
Mariners left-hander Mike Montgomery threw six innings of one-run ball in his Major League debut, but wound up with a no-decision after closer Fernando Rodney surrendered a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by Stephen Drew.
"It just was an all-around great team win tonight," Drew said. "It was a lot of fun, the game was going back and forth, and it was fun to be a part of."
The Yankees missed out on a bases-loaded opportunity in the 10th, when Tom WIlhelmsen got Carlos Beltran on an inning-ending double-play grounder to Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano, but Jones settled things the next frame with his second home run of the season.
Yankees veteran CC Sabathia remains 2-7, with a 5.45 ERA, as he allowed two runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings. Sabathia was in line for the loss until Rodney walked leadoff hitter Chase Headley in the ninth, gave up a two-out single to pinch-hitter Brian McCann and then the tying double by Drew as he suffered his second blown save in his past four outings.
The win kept the Yankees a game up on Tampa Bay atop the American League East at 28-25 and extended their winning streak at Safeco Field to seven straight, dating back to 2013. Seattle fell to 24-28 with its fourth straight loss.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Welcome to the bigs, Mr. Montgomery: The former Royals first-round Draft pick made a strong first impression as he allowed the Yankees just four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in his first start in place of the injured James Paxton. The lone run he allowed came in the third after a brief delay following the ejections of Mariners catcher Mike Zunino and skipper Lloyd McClendon, who disputed a pair of calls on checked-swing appeals that resulted in walks to Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez. Mark Teixeira then doubled to left to give New York a 1-0 lead.
"I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle," said McClendon. "The debut of our starter was tremendous. I thought he did an outstanding job against a real good ballclub. I was very proud of the way he went about his business."
Leading man: The Mariners have been struggling to get any production from the top of their order, but center fielder Austin Jackson delivered four hits -- including a pair of doubles -- with a run scored and a go-ahead RBI in the sixth. Jackson raised his batting average from .244 to .267 with his 4-for-4 day. Seattle's leadoff hitters were batting an AL-low .213 with a .258 on-base percentage coming into the game.
Road trip: Didi Gregorius lost his footing between second and third bases in the seventh inning, short-circuiting a budding Yankees rally. Gregorius was trying to go from first to third on a John Ryan Murphy single to right field, but slipped and then tried to scramble back to second base, where he was tagged out easily for the first out of the inning.
"He tripped," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You'd like to think that we would have scored a run there -- Stephen Drew hit a ball hard to right. You can't predict what would happen. He tripped. What are you going to do?"
No relief for CC: Sabathia was going strong into the sixth inning, but Girardi -- mindful of Sabathia's troubles the third time and later through an order this season -- decided to lift his starter after Welington Castillo's broken-bat, two-out single. Jackson greeted David Carpenter with a well-struck line-drive double to center field. Sabathia walked two and struck out six, throwing 94 pitches (62 strikes).
"A little bit [surprised], but that's his job," Sabathia said. "Obviously I want to stay in there as a pitcher, but it worked out."
Drew comes through: The Yankees were down to their final strike with runners at the corners in the ninth inning, but Drew delivered a game-tying RBI double to right field as Rodney was stuck with the blown save. Drew pumped his right fist as he reached second base; it has been a struggle all season for the infielder, who had two hits in his last 33 at-bats (.060) entering the showdown with Rodney.
"This game's a humbling game, and I've been through it a lot," Drew said. "Just working hard, and the whole team is. This team has done great, resilient, and it's fun to be a part of playing with these guys, because it's a good group of guys, and the fun thing is we keep winning."
"He blew a save. I'll stay the course. I know a lot of people are going to be up in arms because he blew a save, but a lot of people blow saves. When it happens to your club, you take it personally. But it's my job, when [everyone around them is] losing their head and blaming it on me, to keep my head. And I'll do that. I'll stay the course. We'll work with Rodney. We'll need him and we'll make him better. And in the end, I think he'll make us all proud." -- McClendon on Rodney, who has an 8.25 ERA over his last 12 games.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Montgomery is just the second pitcher in Mariners history to throw at least six innings and allow one run or fewer in his MLB debut, joining Blake Beavan -- who threw seven innings of one-run ball against the Padres in his first game in 2011.
HITTING THE EJECT BUTTON
Zunino and McClendon were both ejected from the game in the top of the third inning after Zunino expressed frustration over a pair of calls on checked swings that led to walks by Gardner and Rodriguez. It was Zunino's first career ejection, and McClendon was tossed after running out to protect his young catcher before getting into heated disagreements -- and some hat tossing and kicking, a la Lou Piniella --with first-base umpire Will Little and third-base ump Tony Randazzo. McClendon has been ejected from two games this year and eight in his two seasons with the Mariners. More >
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka returns from the disabled list to make his first start since April 23 on Wednesday, as the Yankees conclude this road trip with a 3:40 p.m. ET matchup against the Mariners. Tanaka was 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in four starts before being shelved by a right forearm strain and right wrist tendinitis.
Mariners: Right-hander Taijuan Walker, coming off eight scoreless, two-hit innings in a 2-1 win over the Indians, takes the hill for Seattle in Wednesday's 12:40 p.m. PT series finale. The 22-year-old is 2-5 with a 6.18 ERA. This will be his first time facing the Yankees.
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