Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 5/16)

Game 1: Monday, May 16
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Game 2: Tuesday, May 17
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in 10
Game 3: Wednesday, May 18
NY Yankees6Final

Yankees 6

(20-19, 8-8 away)

Mariners 3

(15-23, 6-12 home)

10:05 PM ET, May 16, 2005

Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

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NYY 001000410 6 13 0
SEA 200000100 3 7 0

W: C. Wang (2-1)

L: S. Hasegawa (0-1)

S: M. Rivera (7)

Yankees over .500 for first time since April 9

SEATTLE (AP) -- If Bernie Williams was rusty, he sure didn't show it. Then again, Williams often comes through when the Yankees need him.

Williams rallied New York with his 11th career grand slam, and the Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 6-3 Monday night to extend their winning streak to nine.

At 20-19, the Yankees moved over .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 after beating Baltimore on April 9.

"We're playing well," manager Joe Torre said. "We're taking walks. We're not overanxious to hit. We're being very patient. Sometimes, it frustrates other teams the same way we were frustrated when we weren't winning games.

With New York trailing 2-1 in the seventh, J.J. Putz relieved and Williams drove his first pitch just out of reach of center fielder Jeremy Reed, whose glove went over the wall as he crashed into it.

"Pressure situations are really what the game is all about," Williams said. "It gives you so much joy to produce in situations like that, when the game is on the line. You've got to make yourself think that's the situation you want to be in."

On Saturday, Putz gave up a grand slam to Trot Nixon in Boston's 6-3 win. He described the pitch to Williams as nearly identical, except slightly off the plate. Nixon's was over the middle.

"A sinker that didn't sink again," Putz said. "It was a little bit high."

Rookie Chien-Ming Wang (2-1) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out four and walking none. He retired 17 straight batters after Raul Ibanez's two-run double in the first.

"Keep the ball down. Throw to the outside corners and the inside corners," Wang said when asked to outline his strategy.

Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunities. The Yankees are on their longest winning streak since taking nine in a row from June 27 to July 6, 2001.

Williams returned after a three-game break that was aimed at getting Jason Giambi more at-bats. Williams now ranks fourth on New York's career grand slams list, trailing Lou Gehrig (23), Joe DiMaggio (13) and Babe Ruth (12).

"If Bernie doesn't produce, it's not because he's in awe or he get himself out of sorts," Torre said. "I've seen him in those situations for years. He just knows how to rise to the occasion."

Aaron Sele bounced back from a rough outing last week at Yankee Stadium, where he lasted only 2 2-3 innings and gave up seven runs in a 7-4 loss. He allowed one run and five hits over six innings in this one with five strikeouts and six walks -- one intentional.

Sele struck out the side in the sixth, closing out the inning when Derek Jeter whiffed on an inside fastball.

"He was effectively wild," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "He kept a very hot ballclub on the ropes by doing it that way."

Shigetoshi Hasegawa (0-1) took over in the seventh, giving up a one-out single to Gary Sheffield and a single off the right-field wall to Hideki Matsui. Then he walked Alex Rodriguez on four pitches.

George Sherrill, a left-hander called up over the weekend, came in to face Tino Martinez -- who had eight homers in his previous eight games -- and got him to hit a broken-bat grounder to Adrian Beltre at third that led to a forceout at home.

It should have been a double play, but first baseman Richie Sexson dropped the throw from catcher Miguel Olivo. Sexson expected Beltre to touch third and throw to him, so he had to reposition his feet for Olivo's throw.

"He fired it, and I lost it behind Tino's shoulder for a split second," Sexson said. "Next time I picked it up, it was at my left knee. It handcuffed me. My fault. I lost us the game."

Hargrove then brought in the right-handed Putz to face the switch-hitting Williams, who was batting .342 against lefties and .194 against right-handers.

The Mariners, who scored 22 runs while winning two games of a three-game weekend series with Boston, pulled to 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh when Bret Boone doubled and scored on Reed's RBI double.

Rodriguez hit an RBI single off Jeff Nelson in the eighth.

Game notes

Matsui appeared to get an RBI groundout in the eighth. Umpires huddled and decided the ball had struck his bat a second time. He returned, and Nelson struck him out. ... Ichiro Suzuki's leadoff single extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Martinez singled and walked in four at-bats.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press