Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

NY Yankees won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, July 17
Seattle2Final
NY Yankees4
Game 2: Tuesday, July 18
Seattle4Final
in 11
NY Yankees5
Game 3: Wednesday, July 19
Seattle3Final
NY Yankees2

Mariners 3

(45-50, 21-26 away)

Yankees 2

(55-37, 31-18 home)

1:05 PM ET, July 19, 2006

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

123456789 R H E
SEA 100100010 3 8 1
NYY 000001100 2 6 2

W: M. Lowe (1-0)

L: R. Johnson (10-8)

S: J. Putz (18)

Ichiro sparks M's, helps Seattle avoid Yankees sweep

NEW YORK (AP) -- The big stage has been no big deal for Seattle reliever Mark Lowe, who earned the first victory of his major league career Wednesday before a sold-out Yankee Stadium.

Lowe marched out of the Mariners' bullpen in a big spot in the seventh inning and pitched as if he's been doing this all his life.

New York had rallied to tie the score at 2 and had a runner on third with one out when manager Mike Hargrove brought in the lean right-hander. With the crowd roaring, the rookie struck out Bernie Williams and retired Kelly Stinnett to preserve the tie.

Then Lowe was rewarded with his first big league win when Ichiro Suzuki touched off Seattle's go-ahead rally in the eighth inning with his third hit of the afternoon. The Mariners snapped a four-game losing streak, defeating the New York Yankees 3-2.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for New York, which had won nine of 10.

Afterward, Lowe was nonchalant about the win.

"That's my role," he said. "Come in in a big situation and get guys out and keep that guy at third. That's what I did."

Was the sold-out Stadium a distraction? No way.

"You focus on your pitches," Lowe said. "You do that, you'll get guys out. There's nothing better than to come in and give your team a chance to win. That's what I'm trying to do."

So far, so good.

Wednesday's game was Lowe's fourth major league appearance after being called up on July 7 from Double-A San Antonio. He has thrown 5 2/3 innings without allowing a run with seven strikeouts and no walks. Not bad for a 23-year-old who started the season at Class A Inland Empire.

The Mariners nicked Yankees starter Randy Johnson for two early runs, one of them on Richie Sexson's 19th home run, then watched New York tie the score with two runs against Gil Meche, who retired his first 13 batters.

Alex Rodriguez had two of the Yankees' five hits against Meche.

"He threw the ball extremely well," Rodriguez said. "I know what Gil Meche can do. He's one of the best young pitchers around."

Suzuki, who singled and scored in the first inning, opened the eighth with a single against Johnson (10-8), who struck out a season-high 11. Suzuki stole second, went to third on a throwing error by Stinnett and scored the tiebreaking run on a sacrifice fly by Raul Ibanez.

Mariners manager Mike Hargrove has seen this before from Suzuki.

"He's a special player," Hargrove said.

Yankees manager Joe Torre said Suzuki is a catalyst.

"He changes the game," Torre said. "The shortstop has to shorten up. The catcher has to hurry his throw. He plays good defense. He's got a good arm. He's the full package."

In the Yankees' sixth, with Seattle leading 2-0, Nick Green opened with a walk and Stinnett singled. Meche got Johnny Damon to fly out in an 11-pitch at-bat, then retired Melky Cabrera on a pop fly.

But Derek Jeter hit an RBI single on a 3-2 pitch and stole second before Jason Giambi bounced out, ending the inning.

New York chased Meche and tied the score in the seventh when Rodriguez beat out an infield single and barely slid home safely on a double by Andy Phillips. Pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo sacrificed Phillips to third, and then Lowe (1-0) relieved and pitched out of the jam.

J.J. Putz got three outs for his 18th save in 21 tries. He blew a ninth-inning chance in the Mariners' previous game -- a 5-4 loss in 11 innings to the Yankees that, because of a long rain delay, ended around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday.

The Mariners jumped in front in the first against Johnson when Suzuki opened with a single and scored on a double by Adrian Beltre.

Sexson made it 2-0 with his second home run in two days with two outs in the fourth. It was the 19th homer Johnson has allowed this season in 21 starts.

Game notes


It was the 208th time Johnson has had 10 or more strikeouts in a game. ... Meche threw 68 pitches over the first five innings and 36 in the sixth. ... Yankees C Jorge Posada (bruised finger) was a late scratch from the lineup, replaced by Stinnett, who threw out two runners attempting to steal. ... Mariners SS Yuniesky Betancourt stretched his hitting streak to nine games with a fourth-inning single and robbed Damon of a hit in the fourth with a backhanded, running catch of his flare to left field. ... The crowd of 54,121 was the 30th sellout in 49 games at Yankee Stadium.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES