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Seattle (39-38)000101000260
N.Y. Yankees (45-32) «00101200x490

A-Rod, Pettitte lead Yankees past Mariners for seventh win in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- A little rest here and there has done wonders for Alex Rodriguez.

The streaking slugger hit a tiebreaking homer and Andy Pettitte pitched seven strong innings, leading the New York Yankees over the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Wednesday night for their seventh consecutive victory.

A fatigued Rodriguez, who had hip surgery in March, was held out of the lineup June 19-20 in Florida. Soon after, his swing started to come around.

Now, the three-time MVP is on a hitting tear. In his last seven games, he is 10 for 23 (.435) with four homers, 13 RBI and 10 walks.

"I'm feeling better. I feel more energized out there," said Rodriguez, who also got a mini-break Wednesday as the designated hitter.

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"Even when I struggled, I never had an at-bat where I didn't feel like I was going to get the job done. My question is always, how is my body going to bounce back? Now that my body feels good, I think the results are better."

Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera also went deep for the Yankees on a blustery night in the Bronx. New York overcame Ken Griffey Jr.'s 621st home run, winning its 10th straight home game against Seattle since Sept. 4, 2007.

Rodriguez and Griffey, former teammates in Seattle, pulled off a neat feat. The last time two players with at least 550 career homers connected in the same game was May 8, 1971, when Hank Aaron and Willie Mays did it, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Hitters can turn very quickly," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Alex is one of those players that can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. There aren't a lot of players like that in baseball, but Alex is one of them."

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Mariano Rivera saved his third game in a row, increasing his career total to 502. The Yankees haven't trailed since the top of the sixth inning in Atlanta on Wednesday, when Girardi was ejected before the offense rallied. That was the start of the winning streak.

Pettitte (8-3) rebounded from a brief outing Thursday against the Braves, outpitching fellow lefty Jarrod Washburn in a game that took just 2 hours, 17 minutes. The Yankees (45-32) are a season-high 13 games over .500.

"Today was just a crisp game overall," Rodriguez said.

Cabrera's solo shot in the fifth was upheld by a replay review. There was no doubt about Rodriguez's two-run drive to center off Washburn (4-6) in the sixth, No. 566 of his career. He is three behind Rafael Palmeiro for 10th place.

"It was a pretty good pitch probably to most guys. But not to him," Washburn said. "I think if I'd have had it up a little more, it might have given him more trouble. He's a great low-ball hitter."

Rodriguez also hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 8-5 victory.

Pettitte shut down major league batting leader Ichiro Suzuki, who went 0 for 4, ending a 12-game hitting streak. Batting second behind Suzuki, Russell Branyan struck out all four times up -- snapping his career-best hitting streak at 10 games.

"Offensively, the key to this game is Pettitte," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He changed speeds and I think for the first time all year, kept Ichiro and Branyan hitless. If we get any offense at all, we'd have given Wash a chance to win this game."

Alfredo Aceves and Phil Coke combined for a perfect eighth. Rivera worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances this season.

It was the 60th time Rivera has saved a win for Pettitte, adding to their big league record.

The Yankees will go for their second consecutive sweep Thursday night with CC Sabathia on the mound. Seattle had won eight of its past nine series.

Cabrera hit a drive over the left-field foul pole in the fifth and umpires went inside for a look at the replay. Less than three minutes later, they emerged and upheld the original call of home run, giving New York a 2-1 edge.

Griffey tied it in the sixth with a homer to the short porch in right. As he rounded the bases, he received a smattering of applause from the crowd of 45,285.

With his first homer at the new Yankee Stadium, Griffey has connected in 44 major league ballparks -- one shy of Sammy Sosa's record.

Notes

  • Mariners LHP Erik Bedard, sidelined since June 8 with inflammation in his left shoulder, is slated to throw a 60-pitch simulated game Friday in Boston. If all goes well, Bedard will start Tuesday against Baltimore with a pitch limit of about 80, Wakamatsu said.
  • Cody Ransom started at 3B in place of Rodriguez.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Alex Rodriguez (right) hits a tiebreaking homer in the later innings for the second night in a row.  (AP)
Alex Rodriguez (right) hits a tiebreaking homer in the later innings for the second night in a row. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Seattle

K. Griffey
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4000001 .368
Russell Branyan, 1B4000040 .298
Jose Lopez, 2B4110000 .258
Ken Griffey Jr., DH4121001 .219
Franklin Gutierrez, CF3020100 .278
Wladimir Balentien, LF3001012 .225
Chris Woodward, 3B3000012 .333
Rob Johnson, C3010002 .187
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000001 .136
Totals3126216  
Batting
2B - Jose Lopez (14, Pettitte)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (10, Pettitte)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (26), Wladimir Balentien (10)
2-OUT RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (11)
CS - Franklin Gutierrez (4, 2nd base by Pettitte/Posada)
PK - Wladimir Balentien (1, Pettitte)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Cedeno-J. Lopez-Branyan, Woodward-Branyan, J. Lopez-Cedeno-Branyan
Seattle Mariners
Jarrod Washburn (L,4-6) 7844163 3.36
Miguel Batista 1100000 2.85
HBP - Jeter (by Jarrod Washburn)
Pitches-Strikes - Jarrod Washburn 100-60, Miguel Batista 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarrod Washburn 6-7, Miguel Batista 2-0
Batters Faced - Jarrod Washburn 29, Miguel Batista 3
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS3010000 .307
Johnny Damon, LF3111112 .292
Mark Teixeira, 1B4120010 .278
Alex Rodriguez, DH4122001 .239
Jorge Posada, C4000021 .268
Robinson Cano, 2B3010000 .300
Nick Swisher, RF3010010 .238
    Brett Gardner, CF0000000 .289
Melky Cabrera, CF-RF3111001 .287
Cody Ransom, 3B3000010 .190
Totals3049416  
Batting
HR - Johnny Damon (15, Washburn), Alex Rodriguez (13, Washburn), Melky Cabrera (8, Washburn)
RBI - Johnny Damon (47), Alex Rodriguez 2 (41), Melky Cabrera (32)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (21)
Team LOB - 4
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (W,8-3) 7622151 4.25
Alfredo Aceves (H,3) 0.1000000 2.14
Phil Coke (H,6) 0.2000010 3.18
Mariano Rivera (S,20) 1000000 2.76
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 97-63, Alfredo Aceves 5-2, Phil Coke 7-4, Mariano Rivera 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 7-7, Phil Coke 1-0, Mariano Rivera 3-0
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 26, Alfredo Aceves 1, Phil Coke 2, Mariano Rivera 3
Game Information
Attendance - 45285
Game Time - 2:17
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Ron Kulpa