Swisher, Jeter slam homers for Yankees, who win 12th of 13

SEATTLE -- Ichiro Suzuki regularly is part of the conversation in the opposing clubhouse. It's rare when it's because of his mistakes.

Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer in New York's four-run second inning and the surging Yankees beat Suzuki and the sloppy Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Saturday for their 12th win in 13 games.

Derek Jeter drove in two runs for New York during a sharp 2-for-4 night, going deep in the ninth inning to tie Omar Vizquel for second on the career list with 2,672 hits as a shortstop. The Yankees captain is one behind Luis Aparicio for the top spot.

"We took advantage of an error and good teams find ways to take advantage of miscues and we did tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Suzuki and center fielder Franklin Gutierrez misplayed a ball in the second, opening the door for New York's big inning. Suzuki then was thrown out on an ill-timed steal attempt in the seventh.

With third baseman Alex Rodriguez back in the lineup, the AL East-leading Yankees opened a season-high 7 1/2-game advantage over second-place Boston with their fifth consecutive win.

Luke French (2-3) lost for the first time since joining Seattle in the trade that sent Jarrod Washburn to Detroit. The rookie left-hander gave up four unearned runs and seven hits in six innings.

French was let down by his defense in the second. With one out and Robinson Cano on first, Melky Cabrera hit a fly ball to right-center. Gutierrez raced over, but right fielder Suzuki also charged. Gutierrez put his glove out to try for the catch and braced for a collision with Suzuki, who pulled up at the last second. The ball hit off Gutierrez's glove for an error.

"I called for it but then I heard Gutierrez call for it so I got out of the way," Suzuki, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, said through his interpreter.

Jose Molina followed with a run-scoring single and Jeter drove in Cabrera with a sacrifice fly to center. Swisher then gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead with his 19th homer, hitting a 1-0 pitch from French over the wall in left.

Seattle tried to rally in the seventh, putting runners on first and second with one out. Phil Coke, the only left-hander in the Yankees bullpen, struck out Ken Griffey Jr. before falling behind 2-0 against Russell Branyan. Suzuki then tried to steal third and Molina cut him down easily, taking advantage of an ideal pitch to handle.

"Two outs and it was 2-0, so I was more surprised at that," Molina said of Suzuki's steal attempt at that point in the inning.

Girardi, a former catcher, also thought it was an odd time for Suzuki to be running.

"A little bit. It helped set up the next inning for us too because he's going to score on any base hit unless it's an infield hit," Girardi said.

Suzuki said he was trying to get two runners into scoring position, hoping Jose Lopez would try for second.

"I was hoping to create a situation where the runners on second and third and we could tie the game with a hit," Suzuki said. "I also understand at the end it was an out, but I thought through the process and I understand why it was an out."

Rodriguez, who missed the first two games of the series with back spasms and a sore elbow, got another cold reception in the city where he began his career. He was greeted with a chorus of boos and dollar bills raining down from the upper deck -- the idea of a local internet marketing company that stuck its logo on the front of the bill.

A-Rod walked twice and struck out in the fifth, delighting many in the crowd of 44,272, the Mariners' third-largest crowd of the season.

Sergio Mitre (2-1) pitched 5 1/3 innings to earn his second win since joining New York's rotation in late July. He yielded two runs, one earned, and seven hits.

David Robertson and Coke combined for 2 2/3 innings of two-hit ball before Mariano Rivera finished for his major league-leading 35th save in 36 chances this season. He has converted 31 straight opportunities.

Seattle loaded the bases in the sixth, knocking Mitre from the game. Robertson struck out Josh Wilson on a 2-2 fastball then got Ryan Langerhans looking at a 3-2 pitch that appeared to be well below Langerhans' knees but was called a strike by plate umpire C.B. Bucknor.

"I don't really have much of a comment on it. It was a pitch, I took it, I thought it was a ball," Langerhans said.

Game notes
Seattle LF Michael Saunders was a late scratch with a jammed right shoulder. Langerhans took his place in the lineup. ... Cano extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the second inning. ... Rivera has recorded 35 or more saves in a season 10 times in his career.