Alex Rodriguez, dropped three spots to sixth in the batting order, hit a two-run homer that snapped his hitless skid and sent the New York Yankees past the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Sunday, ending their four-game losing streak.
Masahiro Tanaka topped old pal Hisashi Iwakuma in the first major league pitching matchup of former Japanese teammates, a game that was broadcast live on television back home - at 2 a.m. in Tokyo.
Brett Gardner had three hits, including an RBI double, and scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch by Iwakuma (0-2) in the fifth inning. Still, the Yankees continued to struggle at the plate in clutch situations, finishing the three-game series 1 for 35 with runners in scoring position.
They managed to avoid a sweep thanks in large part to Tanaka (1-0), who yielded three runs - two earned - and six hits in seven efficient innings. He struck out six and walked none, improving to 4-0 in four career starts against Seattle.