SEATTLE -- Another Aaron Judge home run wasn't enough for the Yankees on Saturday as Nelson Cruz singled home Ben Gamel in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Mariners pulled off a 6-5 walk-off win in a back-and-forth affair at Safeco Field.
Gamel, acquired from the Yankees in August, scorched a leadoff double off Adam Warren, who then intentionally walked Robinson Cano before Cruz delivered with his American League-leading 75th RBI for Seattle's fifth walk-off victory of the year
"I got a good jump off the bat," Gamel said. "Cruzy hits rockets, so you never know, but it was quite a game. That was a blast."
• Gamel shines in front of former teammates
Judge launched his 32nd homer of the season in the sixth, but Cano matched the newest Yankee star with a go-ahead blast in the bottom of the eighth. The Yankees tied it back up in the ninth, however, on Ronald Torreyes' two-out, two-strike RBI single off Mariners closer Edwin Diaz.
"We came back a couple of different times. It's frustrating. We were never able to get the lead," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Our guys kept fighting, big two-out hit by Torreyes, but we we never got the lead and held them off."
• Torreyes once again shows his grit
Cano's 19th home run of the season was a leadoff shot against newly acquired reliever Player Page for David Robertson. The Mariners also got solo homers from Gamel and Mike Zunino in their four-run third against Masahiro Tanaka. Those were the only runs allowed by Tanaka, who retired the final 10 batters he faced in his six innings.
"His stuff wasn't very good. For whatever reason, that inning, his stuff went away from him," Girardi said. "And then he found it again. He had it, he lost it and found it again. That was the frustrating thing that he couldn't get out of that inning. He gave up the two home runs, got the second out and nobody was on, then gave up another two runs. That's the frustrating part."
Mariners starter Ariel Miranda gave up five hits and two runs over 5 1/3 innings, but the lefty missed out on his eighth win when Seattle couldn't hold his 4-2 lead. David Phelps, acquired from the Marlins in a Thursday trade, retired four straight batters with two strikeouts in his debut in the seventh and eighth.
"It was a great atmosphere," Phelps said of the sold-out crowd of 46,197. "A really fun game and they were into it, too, which is nice. It's good to beat those guys. That's the team we're chasing right now. This series was on the way to getting out of hand for us, so it was nice to get that one and get after it again tomorrow."
Seattle is 2 1/2 games behind AL Wild Card leaders New York and Tampa Bay.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
One bad hiccup for Masahiro: Tanaka had allowed just three runs over 23 innings in his three previous starts at Safeco Field, but he gave up four in the third inning alone as Zunino and Gamel ripped solo homers and Danny Valencia and Mitch Haniger followed with RBI singles. Zunino's blast was a soaring shot to left-center projected at 425 feet by Statcast™ for his 14th homer of the year. Gamel jumped on a first-pitch curve and sent it 391 feet into the right-field seats for his sixth this season. The rookie has a nine-game hitting streak.
Another Judge-ment day: The big Yankees rookie did it again in the sixth inning, pushing an opposite-field shot over the fence in right-center to cut Seattle's lead to 4-3. The Mariners had brought side-arming reliever Steve Cishek in to face Judge, but he got hold of a 2-2 sinker and drove it 396 feet for his second homer in two days. This one wasn't as prodigious as the three-run blast on Friday that nearly sailed out of Safeco Field, but it worked just the same as Judge hiked his RBI total to 73, two behind Cruz for the AL lead.
"You know, it's a great hitter putting a great swing on the ball. It's a great pitch by [Robertson], and it's Robbie Cano. He's one of the best hitters in the game. And it's not going to happen all the time, but it happened tonight." -- Girardi, on Cano's home run off Robertson
"That's about as good as I could have thrown it. I don't think I could do anything better with it. You just have to tip your cap to a pretty good hitter. He put a pretty good swing on a good pitch and hit a home run," --Robertson, on his pitch to Cano
"That was a huge play. Ball of the wall and Gamel comes out and throws a bullet right on the bag. And Frazier can really run, he was busting it out of the box as well. The little things like that in games like this, every out is big. Ben had an outstanding game today." -- Mariners manager Scott Servais, on Gamel throwing out Clint Frazier trying to stretch a single in the first inning
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Yankees haven't won a series since June 9-11, going 0-8-2 in series for their longest drought since 1991. They'll need a victory on Sunday to snap that streak as the series now sits at 2-1 after Saturday's loss.
Sunday's win was just Seattle's second against the Yankees at Safeco FIeld in 14 games since 2013.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Yankees challenged that reliever Tommy Kahnle in the ninth inning did not hit Guillermo Heredia on a slider that sailed up and in, as was the ruling by home-plate umpire Pat Hoberg. Replays were inconclusive, so the call was allowed to stand. Heredia, representing the potential winning run, advanced to second on a wild pitch but was stranded.
Yankees:Caleb Smith (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will get the ball for the Yankees in Sunday's finale of the four-game series at Safeco Field, a 4:10 p.m. ET start. Smith will be making his first Major League start and his second career appearance. He made his big league debut on Monday against the Twins and allowed two runs in three innings.
Mariners:Yovani Gallardo (4-7, 5.59 ERA) moves back into the rotation to face the Yankees in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT series finale at Safeco Field. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed just one earned run in 11 1/3 innings in four relief outings after going 3-6 with a 6.30 ERA In 14 starts. He's 2-3 with a 6.47 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees.
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