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M’s lose again

Yanks go for 4-game sweep today

The boo birds were out in force at Safeco Field for the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez on Saturday.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
The boo birds were out in force at Safeco Field for the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez on Saturday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Larry Stone Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Some things never change, like Alex Rodriguez getting savaged by the Safeco Field crowd.

After sitting out the first two games of this series, Rodriguez came back Saturday night to receive his usual dose of boos.

One thing the Mariners had hoped to change was their recent spell of offensive woes, but they struggled in the clutch and fell 5-2 to the Yankees.

Mariners fans left Safeco Field muttering about a disputed called third strike on Ryan Langerhans on a full-count pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth.

The Mariners have now dropped the first three games of the four-game series with New York, falling 101/2 games behind the A.L. West-leading Angels.

This loss was punctuated by something that has rarely been seen this season – a defensive miscue by Franklin Gutierrez that led to four unearned runs in the second inning.

Those runs were the only ones given up by starter Luke French in his third, and best, start since joining the Mariners from Detroit in the Jarrod Washburn trade on July 31.

French made it through six innings, departing with that 4-2 deficit. He gave up seven hits and struck out two.

French, however, couldn’t recover from Gutierrez’s error, which came on a drive to right-center by Melky Cabrera with one out and one on in the second.

Gutierrez drifted over as Ichiro Suzuki raced after the ball as well. The two converged before Ichiro peeled away at the last second. Gutierrez had the ball glance off his glove for an error that allowed Robinson Cano, who had singled, to get to second.

Jose Molina singled home Cano, and Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly brought in another run. Nick Swisher then homered to put the Yankees up 4-1.

French blanked the Yankees over the next four innings, but the Mariners could not overcome the deficit.

Seattle scored an unearned run in the first after second baseman Cano’s two-base error on an Ichiro grounder. Ichiro advanced to third on a ground out and scored on Jose Lopez’s sacrifice fly.

The Mariners added another run in the fourth when Rob Johnson’s infield single scored Ken Griffey Jr., but they blew a huge chance in the sixth after loading the bases with one out.

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