Seattle Mariners

Zunino, Seager hit 3-run HRs to lead Mariners past Yankees

Seattle Mariners Kyle Seager, right, celebrates with teammates Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz, left, after Seager hit a three-run home run to score Cano and Cruz in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, in Seattle.
Seattle Mariners Kyle Seager, right, celebrates with teammates Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz, left, after Seager hit a three-run home run to score Cano and Cruz in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, in Seattle. AP

Here was the gospel according to Earl Weaver, showing Monday night that his words remain true today: Pitching, defense and the three-run homer is a heck of winning formula.

The Mariners hit two three-run homers in their 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees at Safeco Field. Their vaunted bullpen also bounced back after Sunday’s hiccup loss to Milwaukee.

And there was defense. The Mariners erased two two-run deficits by getting a three-run homer in the fourth inning from Kyle Seager and another in the sixth from Mike Zunino.

Their bullpen produced 3 1/3 scoreless innings after Cody Martin surrendered five runs on four homers – two apiece from Gary Sanchez and Starlin Castro.

Defense? Right fielder Shawn O’Malley made a diving catch into the stands for the second out in the seventh inning. And second baseman Robinson Cano made a long run later in the inning to track down a Jacoby Ellsbury pop.

Nick Vincent, Vidal Nuno, Steve Cishek and Edwin Diaz provided the bullpen relay. Vincent (3-3) got the victory. Cishek retired Sanchez and Castro while protecting a one-run lead in the eighth.

After a Nelson Cruz homer provided a two-run cushion, Diaz worked around a shaky start to the ninth in closing the victory for his 10th save in 10 chances.

The Mariners climbed back to a season-best 10 games over .500 (67-57) and remained one game behind Baltimore in the race for the American League’s final wild-card berth.

The Mariners trailed 5-3 when they knocked out ex-Mariner Michael Pineda in the sixth by putting two runners on base with one out.

New York manager Joe Girardi played match-ups and won the first one when lefty Tommy Layne retired Adam Lind on a pop to second. Girardi then summoned righty Anthony Swarzak to face Zunino. On a full count, Swarzak (1-2) threw a slider that Zunino reached out and drove 366 feet to right for a three-run homer.

The Mariners led 6-5.

Sanchez marked his first at-bat since being selected earlier Monday as the American League Player of the Week by lining a two-out homer to left in the first.

Castro’s leadoff homer in the second extended New York’s lead to 2-0.

A double-play grounder enabled Martin to work around a one-out walk in the third, but the Yankees started the fourth with singles by Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. A strikeout and a double play kept it 2-0.

That allowed the Mariners to grab the lead on Seager’s three-run homer in the bottom of the inning – a 403-foot drive to center field on a 3-0 count. It was Seager’s 24th homer of the year.

That lead lasted until Sanchez’s next at-bat, which came with one on and one out in the sixth. He crushed an 88-mph fastball from Martin for a two-run homer to center.

Castro’s second homer, a two-out drive later in the inning, reestablished New York’s two-run lead at 5-3. When Martin then walked Brian McCann, manager Scott Servais went to the bullpen for Vincent.

Play of the game – O’Malley, just inserted for defensive purposes, made a leaping catch into the stands on Tyler Austin’s one-out high foul in the seventh.

O’Malley had to push past a fan to make the catch. He held the ball-in-glove aloft as, twisting, he fell backward into the seats.

First-base umpire Jeff Nelson, the crew chief, went down the line and verified the catch.

Stat pack With two homers and a single, Gary Sanchez (54) became the second Yankees player in history to reach 50-plus total bases in his first 19 games. The other is Joe DiMaggio (56).

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners

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