Michael Pineda thought he pitched OK. And he did — to everyone but Robinson Cano.
Pineda gave up three of his six hits to Cano, and two of those were two-run homers Saturday as the Seattle Mariners beat the New York Yankees 4-3.
"I always try to attack the hitter with my fastball," Pineda said. "The first homer, he jumped on the first pitch, and the second homer I tried to get my fastball inside. He's a great hitter."
Pineda (9-6) took a shutout into the seventh against his former team in his first start against Seattle on June 2, but he had difficulty throwing throw strikes this time. The righty walked two for the first time since June 17 and needed 105 pitches to get through six innings. But, other than Cano, the Mariners had little success against him.
"I don't think he struggled," catcher Brian McCann said. "You've got one of the best hitters in the game that started to swing the bat a lot better. Take those away, we're looking seventh, eighth inning with no runs. So sometimes you tip your hat."
McCann hit a tying two-out, two-run shot off Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) in the fourth, just one of two flyballs off the Japanese right-hander in 5 2-3 innings. McCann had the other, too, an out to left field.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner started the sixth with singles but Iwakuma struck out Alex Rodriguez for the third time and got Mark Teixeira on a grounder.
Joe Beimel, who yielded A-Rod's go-ahead homer Friday, relieved and retired McCann on a popup.
Despite struggling against Iwakuma, the Yankees had a chance in the ninth when Teixeira doubled leading off against Carson Smith. Chase Headley struck out, but reached on a passed ball. Garrett Jones drove in a run with a grounder before Didi Gregorius grounded out to Cano to end the game and give Smith his seventh save.
"It's just one of those days we didn't get the big hit," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
With the win, the Mariners improved to 22-22 on the road after losing 11 of 17 to start the season. Seattle denied the Yankees a chance to move 10 games over .500 for the first time since Cano was closing out his career in pinstripes, on Sept. 13, 2013.
Batting .249 with just six homers and 30 RBIs coming in, Cano has taken the brunt of the blame for the Mariners' subpar first half. But he came out swinging against the team he spurned for a huge contract with Seattle before the 2014 season.
The second baseman responded to hearty first-inning boos with a blast off Pineda (9-6) over the center field wall with Kyle Seager aboard, helping the Mariners end a seven-game skid against New York. Seager connected twice in Seattle's loss Friday night.
"I just go to the plate and make some damage," Cano said of how he handles the booing.
Cano connected again off Pineda in the sixth, driving a ball into the second deck in right field for his 14th multihomer game — his first 13 came with New York. Cano singled between his long balls and grounded out with a shot for his first three-homer game.
Iwakuma allowed five hits and two runs without a walk and five strikeouts in his third start since coming off the disabled list.