NEW YORK (AP) Thanks to an error followed by a questionable
two-run homer, the Seattle Mariners eked out another close one.
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
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
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
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."
|Freddy Garcia improved to 3-0 after surviving a four-run fourth in Tuesday's 7-5 win in New York.|
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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