NEW YORK -- Yonder "Mr. 305" Alonso supplied the late fireworks to help kick off Players Weekend, crushing a go-ahead homer off Aroldis "The Missile" Chapman as the Mariners celebrated a 2-1, 11-inning victory over the Yankees on Friday evening at Yankee Stadium.Alonso's two-out blast off the left-hander's 100.1-mph heater
NEW YORK -- Yonder "Mr. 305" Alonso supplied the late fireworks to help kick off Players Weekend, crushing a go-ahead homer off Aroldis "The Missile" Chapman as the Mariners celebrated a 2-1, 11-inning victory over the Yankees on Friday evening at Yankee Stadium.
Alonso's two-out blast off the left-hander's 100.1-mph heater landed on the right side of Monument Park, restoring a Seattle lead that was erased when "Sir Didi" Gregorius' eighth-inning single was misplayed by center fielder Guillermo Heredia, allowing Aaron "All Rise" Judge to race home all the way from first base.
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"I was just trying not to strike out, honestly," said Alonso, who was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in his previous meetings with his Cuban countrymate. "He's as tough as it gets, man, no question about it. He's got electric stuff, a 100-mph fastball and a wicked slider. Right there I'm just trying to be easy and make contact."
Alonso became just the third left-handed batter to homer off Chapman in his eight-year career. Just 12 days earlier, Rafael Devers of the Red Sox became the second, joining Luke Scott (2011).
"It's definitely a tough moment right now," said Chapman, who was recently demoted from the closer's role. "What I'm trying to do is get out of it. That's the focus. Move on from it."
Playing their first home game since 1914 without traditional pinstriped tops, the Yankees missed an opportunity to gain ground in the American League East chase. New York remains 4 1/2 games behind the Red Sox, who lost, 16-3, to the Orioles on Friday.
The win kept the Mariners a half-game back of the Twins in the chase for the AL's second Wild Card spot at 66-63, as they improved to 5-2 on their 12-game East Coast road trip.
Mike Zunino had three hits, including a fourth-inning homer that served as the only blemish on CC "Dub" Sabathia's ledger. Sabathia hurled seven strong innings of five-hit ball in a no-decision, striking six around a walk.
Ariel Miranda started for Seattle and permitted just two hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings. The Yankees were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on.
"It's a tough loss," Gregorius said. "We had the bases loaded a couple of times, runners at second, runners at third a couple of times. We've got to play the small game, too -- try to get runners over, try to get runners in, one at a time. We didn't do that today."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Turned aside: After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, Miranda put out another serious threat in the fourth, after Gregorius was hit by a one-out pitch and "All-Starlin" Castro doubled in his second at-bat since being activated from the disabled list. Miranda recovered to strike out Christopher Austin, and after a walk, he fanned Todd "The Toddfather" Frazier to end the inning.
"We made big pitches when men were on base and left them out there for most of the night," Mariners manager Scott Servais said after seven Seattle pitchers combined to hold the Yankees in check.
One, but no more: Right-hander Nick "Hubba Hubba" Vincent blew a 90.9-mph fastball past Frazier for the final out of the eighth inning, stranding the bases loaded, but the frame turned earlier than that. Gregorius bolted for third base on Castro's grounder to shortstop, and the Yankees did not challenge the call at third base despite replays that appeared to show Gregorius may have been safe.
"By the time we got the last review, it was about 50 seconds," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We didn't get that one in time, and everything that we saw said that he was out. It's unfortunate it comes in so late, but that's part of the review process."
Later, Dawg: Seattle had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the ninth, thanks to two walks and a Zunino double. Dellin "D. Dawg" Betances got Ben Gamel to pop up to first base and struck out pinch-hitter Robinson "Don't You Know" Cano on three pitches, ending the at-bat with a filthy 88.5-mph slider. Cano didn't start the game due to a sore left hamstring.
"That's a tough at-bat," Servais said. "You're sitting there all night and Betances is one of the best in the game with that breaking ball. You run your best guy up there and hope for the best. Betances executed, but Robbie was fine. Hopefully he'll be good to go and we can get him in the lineup tomorrow."
"It's a lot of fun. We've got a group of guys that come in here every day and battle. They're professionals. Any chance you can do anything to provide for the team for a win, it's a plus. That's my goal." -- Alonso, after coming off the bench for his homer, his second with Seattle, where he's hitting .302 in 15 games since being acquired from the A's
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Sabathia caught Kyle "Corey's Brother" Seager looking at a called third strike in the top of the sixth inning, marking the 2,814th strikeout of the lefty's career. That moved him past Mike Mussina (2,813) into sole possession of 19th place on baseball's all-time list.
Alonso's game-winner off Chapman's 100.1-mph fastball made it the third-fastest pitch to be hit for a homer in the Majors this year, and the fastest pitch hit by a Mariner for a home run since pitch tracking began in 2008. The 106.2-mph exit velocity made it the hardest home run allowed by Chapman in the past three seasons.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mariners wasted no time getting a call overturned as Yankees leadoff hitter Brett Gardner initially was ruled safe on an infield single after diving to beat first baseman Danny Valencia to the bag in the first. But after a 31-second review, the call was overturned and Gardner was out in what turned into a 1-2-3 inning for Miranda.
The game was extended in the 11th inning after Gardner was initially called out at second base on a stolen-base attempt. A review of 45 seconds overturned the call.
Mariners: Yovani "Yo" Gallardo (5-9, 5.75 ERA) gets the ball in Saturday's 10:05 a.m. PT game at Yankee Stadium, as the veteran right-hander looks to turn around a four-start stretch in which he's gone 0-2 with a 7.78 ERA.
Yankees: Sonny "Pickles" Gray (7-8, 3.38 ERA) will make his fifth start for New York in Saturday's 1:05 p.m. ET affair. Gray is 1-3 with a 3.13 ERA in his first four starts as a Yankee, and he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 consecutive starts.
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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.