Sunday, April 17, 2016

Recap: Yankees 4, Mariners 3

Sometimes it's hard to lose.

That was the lesson the Yankees learned on Sunday, when another ugly performance by the club's offense somehow translated to a win.

The Yankees went just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base, but found a way to scrape together a 4-3 victory over the Mariners in the series finale at Yankee Stadium.

For the third straight contest, the Yankees probably should have scored a lot more -- only this time they came out on top.

The Yankees grabbed a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the second on a two-run shot by Alex Rodriguez, snapping an 0-for-19 skid for the veteran. 

They added to their advantage with Brett Gardner's ground-rule double an inning later, plating Jacoby Ellsbury after the latter had stolen second.

At that point, the game seemed to be in hand -- but misplays by the Yankees' defense helped Seattle come back.

First, a rocket off the bat of Kyle Seager snuck through Mark Teixeira's legs in the fourth, resulting in a two-base error and eventually setting up Steve Clevenger for an RBI single.

Then, a poorly-judged dive by Ellsbury extended a Norichika Aoki hit to a triple in the fifth, allowing Seth Smith to even the score with a knock of his own.

But Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka hung in there, lasting a full seven innings and yielding just two earned runs on six hits. He walked none while striking out six, besting his fellow countryman Hisashi Iwakuma.

After his team tied it at three, Iwakuma surrendered back-to-back singles in the fifth to Gardner and Carlos Beltran -- putting men on the corners for the dangerous Teixeira. But it wasn't the Yankees' first baseman who re-took the lead for New York; rather, it was Gardner and his hustle home on a wild pitch.

And once they were back ahead, the Yankees had no problem closing it out.

After spotless sixth and seventh innings from Tanaka, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller fanned each of the six hitters they faced in relief. It was the second consecutive day both have struck out the side, and the duo's ERA on the young season remains perfect.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees finally snapped their four-game losing streak. They are now 5-6 on the year, third in the AL East.

NEXT UP: The Yankees will stay in the Bronx to begin a three-game set with the A's on Tuesday night. Michael Pineda (1-1, 6.55 ERA) and Eric Surkamp (0-1, 4.00 ERA) are slated to be your starters, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

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