Soriano hits homer in 10-run third inning for Yanks


SEATTLE (AP) -- The hitting slumps are over for Alfonso Soriano
and Jason Giambi. And the New York Yankees have another veteran
pitcher off to a great start.

Soriano hit a two-run homer in a 10-run third inning, and Giambi
later added a three-run shot as the Yankees beat the Seattle
Mariners 16-5 Thursday night.

David Wells, 12 days shy of his 40th birthday, improved to 5-0
for the first time in his career. The Yankees took two of three
from Seattle in a matchup of division leaders, just as they did
last week in New York.

"They are a great ballclub," Seattle pitching coach Bryan
Price said. "You give them an inch and they take a mile. They took
a couple of miles in this series."

The powerful Yankees lineup had 17 hits and set a season high
for runs. And they did it the night after Mike Mussina improved to
7-0 with a dominating performance in a 7-2 win that swung the
momentum in three-game set.

"I'm just following suit," Wells said. "I'm following a guy
who's the best pitcher in the game right now. You just want to keep
up with Mike Mussina. You know what he's doing, and I'm getting the
run support, getting the good defense."

After allowing three runs and six hits in two innings, Wells
retired 16 of his next 18 batters. It didn't hurt that he had
plenty of time to refocus in the clubhouse during the third.

"I was trying to stay loose, laying on a hot pack, walking
around, just trying to keep my body loose," Wells said.

Erick Almonte added a two-run double in the third as the Yankees
scored 10 runs in an inning for the first time since Sept. 25,
1996, in the first game of a doubleheader against Milwaukee.

The 16 runs were the most ever allowed by the Mariners at Safeco
Field, beating the previous mark of 15 on Aug. 15, 2000, against

The Mariners' record for most runs allowed in an inning is 11
against Detroit on April 29, 1999.

Wells (5-0) threw seven innings, allowing eight hits and three
runs with four strikeouts and no walks. He got his 190th big league
victory and won for the 17th time in his last 19 decisions dating
to last season.

He was inspired by the death of Steve Allen, his Little League
coach in the San Diego area. Wells planned to travel for services
Friday, then rejoin the Yankees for a series in Oakland.

"He was a mentor to me," Wells said. "He taught me how to
play the game of baseball. He taught me how to keep score. He knew
I didn't have a father. He'd always come grab me on weekends."

Soriano broke a 1-for-19 slump with three RBI and three hits,
increasing his major league-leading total to 52.

"I think the slump is over," Soriano said.

The Yankees battered Freddy Garcia (3-4), who came in with a 4-1
career record and 2.63 ERA against New York. He seemed ready to
improve those numbers after retiring six of his first seven
batters, throwing 17 pitches in two innings.

"It looked like he was on his way to a classic night," Price

That's when everything unraveled for the Mariners.

New York erased a 3-0 deficit with seven hits in the third,
sending 13 batters to the plate.

"I've been on the other end a few times. It's no fun," Yankees
manager Joe Torre said.

Garcia was replaced after Almonte's two-run double gave the
Yankees an 8-3 lead, and Soriano greeted reliever Julio Mateo with
a 373-foot homer to right.

Soriano also singled earlier in the inning and scored twice.
Raul Mondesi singled, walked and scored twice.

Garcia hit Giambi with a pitch to load the bases, then walked
Bernie Williams on a 3-2 count to force home a run.

"He was cruising along, then he hit me and it fell apart for
him," said Giambi, who broke a 7-for-38 skid. "We got hits here
and there. We singled him to death. The train kept going. There
wasn't one big hit. It was a fister here, a fister there."

Nick Johnson, Hideki Matsui and Robin Ventura hit RBI singles in
the inning. Jorge Posada had an RBI groundout, and another run
scored on a throwing error by center fielder Mike Cameron.

Garcia was booed when manager Bob Melvin finally lifted him.

"I don't know what happened tonight," Garcia said. "I felt
pretty good in the bullpen but I got hit pretty good. I didn't have
enough juice."

Every Yankees batter except Giambi and Mondesi had an RBI in the

Garcia went 2 2/3 innings, allowing nine runs on seven hits.

Giambi homered in the seventh, boosting New York's lead to 15-3.
Mondesi added an RBI triple in the eighth.

Edgar Martinez put Seattle ahead 2-0 in the first with a two-run
homer, his fifth. The Mariners led 3-0 in the second after Randy
Winn doubled and scored on Dan Wilson's single.

Game notes
Matsui finished the three-game series 6-for-15 with five
RBIs on three doubles and a homer. Ichiro Suzuki was 5-for-13 with
three RBIs. ... The Yankees are 15-4 on the road and boosted their
road scoring average to 8.3 runs. ... New York scored 15 runs at
Minnesota on April 21. ... Garcia's ERA rose from 3.83 to 5.40. ...
The Yankees have won six straight road series.