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Tuesday, Apr. 24 7:05pm ET
Lampkin's questionable homer lifts M's

NEW YORK (AP) – Thanks to an error followed by a questionable two-run homer, the Seattle Mariners eked out another close one.

Freddy Garcia
Freddy Garcia improved to 3-0 after surviving a four-run fourth in Tuesday's 7-5 win in New York.

Tom Lampkin hit the disputed shot, and the Seattle Mariners scored the first two runs off New York reliever Mike Stanton this season to beat the Yankees 7-5 Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.

By taking the opener of a three-game series that's a rematch of last year's AL Championship Series, Seattle improved to 9-3 in games decided by one or two runs and a club-record 16-4 overall.

"We're kind of playing some heart-attack baseball. The games we've played have all been close," Lampkin said. "We're counting on our bench and our bullpen. We really haven't blown a lot of teams out of the water and I don't think we're going to."

With Seattle trailing 5-3 in the seventh inning, Bret Boone reached when third baseman Scott Brosius' throw pulled Tino Martinez off the bag at first, ending a streak in which Yankees starter Roger Clemens retired 11 straight batters.

After Al Martin flied out, Lampkin drove a 3-1 pitch to the left-field corner. Converted second baseman Chuck Knoblauch jumped at the fence trying to make the catch, but the ball hit the heel of his glove, caromed off the top of the wall and, with spectators reaching, dropped to the field.

Third-base umpire Lance Barksdale ruled it a home run, though replays appeared to show the ball should have been in play.

"I had it for a second," Knoblauch said. "Next thing I know the ball is on the warning track. I didn't argue or anything because I didn't know."

It brought back memories of Todd Zeile's drive off the top of the left-field fence at Yankee Stadium last October for the New York Mets in Game 1 of the World Series. Zeile's ball was correctly ruled in play.

"It was not a question of fan interference," crew chief Mark Hirschbeck said. "If (Barksdale) had asked me or any of the guys it would have looked the same to us. It looked like it left the ballpark."

Yankees manager Joe Torre, who briefly argued the call, said, "It had to be a tough call to make. When you watch the replay, sure it's easy to say it wasn't a home run. It was tough to argue from where I was sitting."

With the game tied at 5 and two outs in the top of the eighth, Edgar Martinez lined a double and John Olerud followed with an RBI single off Stanton (1-1), who hadn't been scored on in 11 innings over seven appearances.

Seattle added an insurance run in the ninth off Stanton, whose error allowed Carlos Guillen to score.

Mariners starter Freddy Garcia (3-0) did just enough to extend his recent mastery of the Yankees.

Garcia, who beat New York twice in the ALCS and now is 3-1 with a 3.74 ERA against the Yankees in the regular season, gave up five runs on seven hits over seven innings. But he only struggled in the fourth, when he allowed four runs, and retired the last seven batters he faced.

Clemens pitched seven innings, giving up five runs – four earned – on five hits. He struck out six batters, one in each of the first six innings.

Seattle took a 2-0 lead in the second on Guillen's two-run single, and added a run in the third on Mike Cameron's homer.

The Yankees moved ahead 4-3 in the fourth, when Paul O'Neill led off with his team-high eighth homer and the first long ball Garcia had served up this season in 27 innings.

Then, with one out, New York laced together a walk, a wild pitch and four consecutive singles, with Martinez, Alfonso Soriano and Brosius each driving in one run.

Bernie Williams added a solo homer in the fifth to put the three-time defending World Series champions up 5-3.

"At the end of last year, we played in pressure situations and that's helping us now," Kazuhiro Sasaki, who earned his 10th save, said through an interpreter. "This year we're able to score a run without a hit. Last year, we weren't able to."

Game notes
O'Neill's eight home runs in April are the most he ever has had in a month (he hit seven in June 1993). The Yankees' record for April homers is 11, by Graig Nettles in 1974. ... Mariners LF Martin made a leaping grab at the wall to rob Soriano of a hit in the second inning. ... The Mariners have won nine of their last 10 games. ... New York had been 4-0 in Clemens' starts.

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 ESPN's Harold Reynolds has a solution for the rash of controversial home-run calls.
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