NEW YORK -- Lloyd McClendon joked that Roenis Elias wasn't afraid of the spotlight. In fact he kind of enjoyed it.
In the biggest city in the country, facing the preeminent team in baseball with all of its grandeur and tradition, the rookie lefty pitched like he'd played in Yankee Stadium his whole life.
Elias tossed seven solid innings in his first start in New York, the Mariners got just enough offense and Fernando Rodney limited the drama in the ninth inning as Seattle picked up a 4-2 win over the Yankees on Thursday night. It was the Mariners' third straight win and fifth win in six games. They are now 12-14 on the season.
There didn't seem to be an ounce of intimidation in Elias from the moment he stepped on the mound.
Even after he gave up a home run to Jacoby Ellsbury to start the bottom of the first inning. If anything, it seemed to motivate him more.
He came back and struck out Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano to end the inning.
From there, he started rolling. He wasn't perfect. He allowed runners in all but one inning. But he was aided by a pair of double plays and struck out a career-high 10 batters to help offset the runners. He allowed just another run (unearned) over the next six innings of work.
That unearned run came on an odd play in the sixth.
With two outs, Yankee manager Joe Girardi's chirping from the dugout about the strike zone became too much for home plate Bill Miller, who called time to have some words with Girardi. That little pause while Miller and Girardi jawed back and forth seemed to take Elias out of his rhythm. He gave up a two-out single to Soriano. He still should have been out of the inning.
But for some reason, Brad Miller didn't cover second on a slow roller up the middle. He must have assumed that Cano was going to either tag the runner or throw to first. Cano chose to flip to second, but Miller was nowhere near the bag. It went as an error on Cano. Brian McCann made it hurt by single to left field to score Soriano. Elias got out of the inning, getting Yangervis Solarte to ground into a force out.
Elias came back out and finished strong working a 1-2-3 seventh inning to close out his start.
For the second straight game, the Mariners got on the board in the first inning. Robinson Cano was greeted with boos -- slightly less vitriolic than in the last game -- and he kept them coming by doubling to right field and scoring Stefen Romero from first base to give Seattle a 1-0 lead.
The Yankees immediately answered with the Ellsbury homer in the bottom of the first.
Seattle snapped the tie in the third inning. Much to Yankees fans displeasure, Cano drove in Brad Miller from third with a ground ball for a fielder's choice. Seattle pushed it to 4-1 in the fourth inning. Brad Miller delivered a two-out single to left field to score Kyle Seager from second and Michael Saunders followed with a ground-rule double to drive in another. It was the second of three hits on the night for Saunders.
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