Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer in the Yanks’ four-run second inning and the Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Saturday for their 12th win in 13 games.
Derek Jeter drove in two runs for New York during a 2-for-4 night, going deep in the ninth inning to tie Omar Vizquel for second on the career list with 2,672 hits as a shortstop. The Yankees captain is one behind Luis Aparicio for the top spot.
With Alex Rodriguez back in the lineup, the AL East-leading Yankees opened a season-high 7 1/2-game advantage over second-place Boston with their fifth consecutive win.
In the second inning, which Seattle fumbled, with one out and Robinson Cano on first, Melky Cabrera hit a fly ball to right-center. Gutierrez raced over, but right fielder Suzuki also charged. Gutierrez put his glove out to try for the catch and braced for a collision with Suzuki, who pulled up at the last second. The ball hit off Gutierrez’s glove for an error.
Jose Molina followed with a run-scoring single and Jeter drove in Cabrera with a sacrifice fly to center. Swisher then gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead with his 19th homer, hitting a 1-0 pitch from French over the wall in left.
Seattle tried to rally in the seventh, putting runners on first and second with one out. Phil Coke struck out Ken Griffey Jr. before falling behind 2-0 against Russell Branyan. Suzuki then tried to steal third and Molina gunned him down. Later in the clubhouse surrounded by Japanese reporters, Molina yelled out “Ichiro sucks!” (via PeteAbe).
Sergio Mitre (2-1) pitched 5 1/3 innings to earn his second win since joining New York’s rotation in late July. He yielded two runs, one earned, and seven hits.
David Robertson and Coke combined for 2 2/3 innings of two-hit ball before Mariano Rivera finished for his major league-leading 35th save.
It’s Jobamania on the mound today going for a sweep of the Mariners!