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Yankees over .500 for first time since April 9

SEATTLE (AP) -- If Bernie Williams was rusty, he sure didn't show
it. Then again, Williams often comes through when the Yankees need
him.

Williams rallied New York with his 11th career grand slam, and
the Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 6-3 Monday night to extend
their winning streak to nine.

At 20-19, the Yankees moved over .500 for the first time since
they were 3-2 after beating Baltimore on April 9.

"We're playing well," manager Joe Torre said. "We're taking
walks. We're not overanxious to hit. We're being very patient.
Sometimes, it frustrates other teams the same way we were
frustrated when we weren't winning games.

With New York trailing 2-1 in the seventh, J.J. Putz relieved
and Williams drove his first pitch just out of reach of center
fielder Jeremy Reed, whose glove went over the wall as he crashed
into it.

"Pressure situations are really what the game is all about,"
Williams said. "It gives you so much joy to produce in situations
like that, when the game is on the line. You've got to make
yourself think that's the situation you want to be in."

On Saturday, Putz gave up a grand slam to Trot Nixon in Boston's
6-3 win. He described the pitch to Williams as nearly identical,
except slightly off the plate. Nixon's was over the middle.

"A sinker that didn't sink again," Putz said. "It was a
little bit high."

Rookie Chien-Ming Wang (2-1) allowed three runs and six hits in
6 1-3 innings, striking out four and walking none. He retired 17
straight batters after Raul Ibanez's two-run double in the first.

"Keep the ball down. Throw to the outside corners and the
inside corners," Wang said when asked to outline his strategy.

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his seventh save in nine
opportunities. The Yankees are on their longest winning streak
since taking nine in a row from June 27 to July 6, 2001.

Williams returned after a three-game break that was aimed at
getting Jason Giambi more at-bats. Williams now ranks fourth on New
York's career grand slams list, trailing Lou Gehrig (23), Joe
DiMaggio (13) and Babe Ruth (12).

"If Bernie doesn't produce, it's not because he's in awe or he
get himself out of sorts," Torre said. "I've seen him in those
situations for years. He just knows how to rise to the occasion."

Aaron Sele bounced back from a rough outing last week at Yankee
Stadium, where he lasted only 2 2-3 innings and gave up seven runs
in a 7-4 loss. He allowed one run and five hits over six innings in
this one with five strikeouts and six walks -- one intentional.

Sele struck out the side in the sixth, closing out the inning
when Derek Jeter whiffed on an inside fastball.

"He was effectively wild," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said.
"He kept a very hot ballclub on the ropes by doing it that way."

Shigetoshi Hasegawa (0-1) took over in the seventh, giving up a
one-out single to Gary Sheffield and a single off the right-field
wall to Hideki Matsui. Then he walked Alex Rodriguez on four
pitches.

George Sherrill, a left-hander called up over the weekend, came
in to face Tino Martinez -- who had eight homers in his previous
eight games -- and got him to hit a broken-bat grounder to Adrian
Beltre at third that led to a forceout at home.

It should have been a double play, but first baseman Richie
Sexson dropped the throw from catcher Miguel Olivo. Sexson expected
Beltre to touch third and throw to him, so he had to reposition his
feet for Olivo's throw.

"He fired it, and I lost it behind Tino's shoulder for a split
second," Sexson said. "Next time I picked it up, it was at my
left knee. It handcuffed me. My fault. I lost us the game."

Hargrove then brought in the right-handed Putz to face the
switch-hitting Williams, who was batting .342 against lefties and
.194 against right-handers.

The Mariners, who scored 22 runs while winning two games of a
three-game weekend series with Boston, pulled to 5-3 in the bottom
of the seventh when Bret Boone doubled and scored on Reed's RBI
double.

Rodriguez hit an RBI single off Jeff Nelson in the eighth.

Game notes
Matsui appeared to get an RBI groundout in the eighth.
Umpires huddled and decided the ball had struck his bat a second
time. He returned, and Nelson struck him out. ... Ichiro Suzuki's
leadoff single extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ...
Martinez singled and walked in four at-bats.