One more delay wasn’t going to dampen the celebration around this unexpected comeback for the New York Yankees.
Cameron Maybin narrowly beat right fielder Jay Bruce’s throw home on DJ LeMahieu’s game-ending, ninth-inning single, capping a three-run rally that lifted the Yankees over the Seattle Mariners 5-4 on a soggy Tuesday night.
Three batters after Gio Urshela’s tying two-run homer with one out, LeMahieu drove a single to right off Roenis Elías. Maybin charged in from second and slid feet-first around a tag from catcher Omar Narváez. Plate umpire Dana DeMuth’s safe call was upheld on replay review — a second wait-and-see moment following a 1 hour, 12 minute rain delay in the seventh.
The Yankees gathered around LeMahieu near first base, waiting for official word. Maybin, who singled and stole second to set up the winning hit, had no doubts.
“I knew I was safe,” he said.
Urshela drilled the tying homer to center off Anthony Swarzak (2-2), sparking a rally that manager Aaron Boone said “snuck up” on him.
“We didn’t have a whole lot going there,” LeMahieu said. “For him to hit that homer just gave us new life.”
The shot jolted a waterlogged Yankee Stadium crowd that had been jeering the home team amid sloppy play and missed chances in the later innings. New York stranded two runners in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, yet still won for the 13th time in 17 games despite a slew of injuries.
“What a great effort,” Boone said. “We didn’t play perfect, obviously, but we hung around enough and the next guy up again got it done.”
Seattle lost for the eighth time in nine games, dropping to .500 (19-19) after opening at 13-2.
Swarzak has allowed a run in six straight appearances, giving up five homers in that span.
“That’s unfortunate tonight,” manager Scott Servais said. “Just leaving the ball up in the zone. They’re not singles and doubles, they’re ending up over the fence and it’s hurting us.”
Joe Harvey (1-0) pitched out of a jam in the ninth for New York, getting his first big league win.
Showers began moments before Edwin Encarnación drove Masahiro Tanaka’s splitfinger fastball over the wall in left to make it 2-1. The downpour picked up in the bottom of the inning, and Tanaka pitched to two batters in the seventh before DeMuth called for the tarp.
The Mariners tacked on two runs against Tommy Kahnle in the eighth to make it 4-1. That ended Kahnle’s 11-appearance scoreless streak and his run of 29 consecutive at-bats without a hit.
Urshela also scored New York’s first run, doubling to lead off the third inning, advancing to third on a flyout and aggressively taking home on Brett Gardner’s groundout to second baseman Dee Gordon, who bobbled the ball slightly to lose any chance at throwing out Urshela.
Things got messy for the Yankees in the middle innings. Outfielders Clint Frazier and Gardner let a routine fly drop between them in the fourth, Frazier had Tim Beckham’s warning-track drive bounce off his glove for a two-base error in the seventh, and Maybin was thrown out at third for the final out in the fifth trying to go first-to-third when Marco Gonzales misfired a pickoff attempt.
Even Urshela — dubbed a “Gold Glove-caliber” defender by Boone before the game — booted a grounder in the eighth.
Gonzales gave up a run, three hits and a walk over six innings. He threw 89 pitches and looked ready to go deep into the game before the delay.
Jay Bruce had three hits and an RBI for Seattle.
SPLIT OUT OF LUCK
Tanaka’s splitter — a go-to offering when the right-hander is on — has lacked its usual bite of late, and he nearly abandoned it Tuesday. He threw the pitch nine times, and three of those went for hits, including Encarnación’s homer. Just 9.5% of Tanaka’s pitchers were splitters, the second lowest clip in his 140 career starts. He allowed two runs, five hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.
LeMahieu was presented with his third Gold Glove Award before the game.
Mariners: Encarnación started at first base, his first appearance in the field after dealing with a shoulder issue the past few days.
Yankees: INF/OF Tyler Wade was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game. ... 1B Luke Voit hopped around after getting hit in the foot by a pitch in the sixth but remained in the game. ... OF Giancarlo Stanton (biceps/shoulder) was expected take swings in the cage as he ramps up baseball activities. There’s still no timetable set for his return.
Yankees RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0, 2.70) makes a spot start in place of injured LHP James Paxton. Rookie Mariners LHP Yusei Kikuchi (1-1, 3.98) is coming off a stellar outing against Cleveland, pitching seven innings of one-run ball with 10 strikeouts and one walk.