Rasner Wins in Season Debut

By: AP
By: AP

After getting swept at home by Detroit last week, the New York Yankees dusted themselves off and answered immediately: three easy wins over Seattle.

Derek Jeter had four hits and New York got consecutive homers from best pals Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano during a six-run outburst, beating the slumping Mariners 8-2 Sunday to finish a lopsided three-game sweep.

Just called up from the minors, Darrell Rasner pitched six comfortable innings and the sweet-swinging Yankees roughed up an ineffective Carlos Silva. New York outscored the Mariners 19-4 in the series, right after losing three in a row to the Tigers.

"It's been kind of streaky," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'd like to shorten one streak and lengthen another."

The Yankees (17-16) responded following Friday's comments from co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, who said he was "disappointed" with the season so far.

Seattle manager John McLaren didn't get the reaction he was looking for, however, after tearing into his team during a postgame tirade Saturday. Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in the first inning, but the Mariners mustered little after that.

"The Yankees just did a number on us," McLaren said. "The positive thing is that we're getting off the road trip and out of New York. We need some good home cooking."

Seattle (13-19) has lost a season-worst five straight, managing only nine runs during that stretch, and nine of 11 overall. The Mariners went 1-5 on their trip to Cleveland and New York. They begin a seven-game homestand Monday night against Texas.

"We're giving away the games," Beltre said. "Hopefully, we can turn it around."

Bobby Abreu had three singles, Hideki Matsui drove in two runs and New York finished with 14 hits for a two-day total of 27. Most of those came against Felix Hernandez and Silva (3-1), though each entered his start with an ERA below 3.00.

Jeter, who had three hits Saturday, received a warm ovation from the crowd of 53,542 after striking out in the eighth.

Rasner (1-0) struck out four and walked none during an eye-opening performance, his first major league win since last May 6 against the Mariners. After going 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in five outings at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he was called up to pitch in place of injured Phil Hughes and is slated for another start Friday or Saturday in Detroit.

If Rasner keeps throwing well, he could stick around for a while. The Yankees optioned struggling rookie Ian Kennedy to Triple-A before the game and general manager Brian Cashman said they're leaning toward recalling Kei Igawa for a start next weekend against the Tigers.

"Just try to run with this opportunity," Rasner said. "I think I'm finally getting back in the groove."

The right-hander made six starts for the Yankees last year but missed most of the season with a broken index finger.

"I kind of like flying under the radar," he said.

Ross Ohlendorf, Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera each worked a scoreless inning of relief.

Playing without injured stars Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, the Yankees erased a 2-0 deficit by scoring six times in the third -- their first inning of five or more runs this season.

Leadoff batter Johnny Damon, coming off a big game Saturday, singled and went to third on Jeter's single. Abreu grounded an RBI single to right, making him 8-for-10 against Silva, and Matsui pushed his team-best hitting streak to 14 games with a run-scoring double.

Slumping slugger Jason Giambi put New York ahead 3-2 with a long sacrifice fly, and Cabrera hit a two-run shot to right for his club-leading sixth home run.

"My style is getting on base, hitting the ball hard -- but I'll go with it," Cabrera said through a translator.

Cano followed with a drive to right on another two-strike pitch from Silva, snapping a 3-for-35 skid.

Damon singled again to start the fourth and stole second before scoring on Jeter's bloop double. Matsui added an RBI single off Ryan Rowland-Smith through a drawn-in infield to make it 8-2.

"It just cannot keep going this way, but we're still positive," Seattle's Jose Vidro said. "There's no hanging of heads here."

Silva's sinker was off. The right-hander gave up eight runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings, the first time this season he has failed to last at least six innings.

"I tried to pitch the same game I've been pitching, but I left some balls up. They are very smart hitters," Silva said. "Every time I made a mistake, they put good wood on it."

Game notes
Farnsworth's hearing with the commissioner's office is scheduled for Tuesday. The reliever appealed a three-game suspension for throwing a fastball behind the neck of Boston slugger Manny Ramirez last month. ... The Yankees became the last team in the majors to score at least five runs in an inning this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Vidro played first base for the Mariners, giving Richie Sexson a rest.


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