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Yanks in good shape, spirits after 6-5 road trip

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- After playing 11 road games in 10 days spread out between three time zones to begin the second half of the season, the Yankees are feeling optimistic after what was gearing up to be a tumultuous stretch.

"I felt like we played pretty good baseball, for the most part," Yankees infielder Chase Headley said. "We were struggling up until the All-Star break, so it's nice to get a series win against a good team that's right in the swing of it, too. It's a good start to the second half."

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SEATTLE -- After playing 11 road games in 10 days spread out between three time zones to begin the second half of the season, the Yankees are feeling optimistic after what was gearing up to be a tumultuous stretch.

"I felt like we played pretty good baseball, for the most part," Yankees infielder Chase Headley said. "We were struggling up until the All-Star break, so it's nice to get a series win against a good team that's right in the swing of it, too. It's a good start to the second half."

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The Yankees' 6-4 win against the Mariners at Safeco Field on Sunday clinched a four-game series victory, their first since sweeping Baltimore from June 9-11, and capped their difficult road trip at 6-5.

It was a step in the right direction for the Bronx Bombers, who stumbled into the All-Star break by dropping 17 of their final 25 games of the first half.

The final leg of the road trip was potentially the toughest, with Seattle coming in victors of five of its last six. But the Yankees' offense came alive

Even when things were looking more bleak in the beginning of the road trip in Boston, the team's morale never seemed to waver. Just ask third baseman Todd Frazier, who didn't join the team until its final game against Minnesota on Wednesday.

"I would say when I came here everyone was upbeat. Everyone was ready to go," Frazier said. "There's some long days in baseball. The bus ride was a little quiet going to the airport to get here. … But everyone was ready to rock [when we did land]. That's what we saw. A lot of guys stepping up in big opportunities."

The Yankees remain in striking distance for the division title, being 2 1/2 games back of the Red Sox, and they have a one-game lead on the Royals and Rays for the first American League Wild Card spot. Based on their recent wobbles, they're fortunate to be there.

"We had built to where we were pretty far over .500, but then we fell and we were struggling and we were having a hard time winning games," manager Joe Girardi said. "To be only 2 1/2 [games] out, and we still have a ton of games within our division, you feel pretty fortunate."

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. He covered the Yankees on Sunday.

New York Yankees