NEW YORK (AP) - Freddy Garcia had some real motivation to win this one.
Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira each homered and drove in three runs, Garcia stifled his former team and the New York Yankees handed the snakebit Seattle Mariners their 16th straight loss with a 10-3 victory Monday night.
``You don't want to be the guy,' Garcia said about being the one to lose to a team on a long skid.
A rain delay of 1 hour, 57 minutes was the only thing that slowed this loss for Seattle. The game was barely under way when Teixeira crushed any pregame hopes Seattle had of jumping out early and snapping the streak, hitting a rare homer into the second deck in left field after Curtis Granderson walked in the first. In the third, Jeter hit his first homer since connecting for hit No. 3,000 on July 9. He also tripled in the eighth.
Five Yankees had RBIs in the fourth against Jason Vargas (6-9), an inning in which the Mariners made two errors and were on the wrong side of what appeared to be a missed call at first base - one of two calls to go against Seattle.
Jeter is not complaining that some breaks went New York's way, even though Seattle is in a rut.
``You have sympathy for individuals when they struggle, teams when they struggle, because everyone's gone through it and they know how difficult it is,' Jeter said. ``It's not easy to play those guys. They have a good team. They have pitchers over there that we weren't too happy to face. It's just a coincidence right now. I'm sure they'll turn things around. I just hope they don't do it the next couple of days.'
After scoring 29 runs in the past six games and still breaking the franchise's 1992 record of 14 losses in a row, the Mariners went down meekly against Garcia (9-7). With only the occasional player standing at the railing at the top step of the Seattle dugout until the game was well out of hand in the eighth, the Mariners mustered just three hits through the first six innings.
Garcia got his start with Seattle in 1999, was a two-time All-Star and went to the AL championship series twice in his 5 1/2 seasons in the Pacific Northwest. He hasn't been an All-Star since but has been a steady addition to the Yankees' rotation this season.
He gave up eight hits and three runs in a season-high 7 2-3 innings, helping New York improve to 3-1 in a 13-game stretch against teams currently below .500.
The Mariners were at .500 on July 5, 2 1/2 games back in the AL West and an early season surprise. But everything has fallen apart since. Their skid is the longest in the majors since Kansas City lost 19 in a row in 2005.
``They're staying together with this thing, it's just a hell of a thing we're going through right now,' manager Eric Wedge said. ``We just got to keep showing up and doing different things and trying different things to try and get back on track.'
Ichiro Suzuki cut the lead to 2-1 with a sacrifice fly in the third after the first two runners reached. The rally was halted when Franklin Gutierrez was thrown out trying to advance on a ball that bounced in the dirt.
The Yankees put it out of reach in the fourth. After Vargas struck out Nick Swisher to start the inning, Russell Martin reached when third baseman Adam Kennedy couldn't handle his tough grounder down the line. Andruw Jones then was called safe on a toss play to Vargas at first base, but replays appeared to show Vargas won the race to the base.
Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner followed with RBI singles. Jeter then hit a grounder to second. Dustin Ackley made a poor throw home for another run.
Granderson had one of his two sacrifice flies and Teixeira made it 8-1 with a single.
``It's one thing when you know you're kind of all over the place and they get to you, but other than that home run in the first to Teixeira they just battle you and battle you and don;t give up at_bats and don't give in,' Vargas said. ``I did my best out there to try to limit what was going on but nothing was going right for us.'
Vargas gave up eight runs - four earned - and seven hits in four innings.
Justin Smoak had an RBI single in the seventh and Brendan Ryan a run-scoring double in the eighth.
NOTES: Of Teixeira's 27 homers, 17 have come in the first three innings. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi says Alex Rodriguez (knee surgery, July 11) is on target to return mid-August. ... INF Eric Chavez (broken toe) could be activated Tuesday. He's been out since May 6. ... RHP Rafael Soriano (May 17, elbow inflammation) pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved