Matsui sac fly helps Yanks edge Mariners

SEATTLE (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez called it the biggest victory of
the season because slumping Derek Jeter got the big hit.

Jeter hit a tying two-run homer in the seventh inning and Hideki
Matsui had a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth to give the New
York Yankees a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday,
their second comeback from a six-run deficit this week.

"That was a humongous hit," Rodriguez said. "I know he's been
trying to drive the ball. He hit the ball a long ways. You don't
see many right-handed hitters go to straightaway center in this

The Mariners led 6-0 after knocking out Donovan Osborne, making
his first start since May 6, 1999, in the second.

Jeter was hitting only .181 at gametime when he homered 412 feet
over the center-field fence off Julio Mateo.

"You want to help and I haven't really been helping offensively
lately," said Jeter, who is now hitting .186 after going 2-for-5
Sunday and 3-for-13 for the series. "I just want to be comfortable
at the plate and today I was comfortable."

Jeter, a five-time All-Star shortstop, started the season with a
.317 career batting average.

Jeter is going through one of the roughest periods of his
career, but isn't dwelling on his first five weeks of the season.

"I just wanted to get a good pitch," he said of his homer.
"I've been swinging at some bad pitches as of late. I wanted to
make sure I did and fortunately it went out."

Rodriguez and Jason Giambi also homered for the Yankees, who now
have 12 come-from-behind wins. They also rallied from six down in a
10-8 win at Oakland on Tuesday.

In the eighth, Rafael Soriano (0-3) walked Rodriguez on a 3-2
count and gave up a single to Giambi to put runners on first and
second. Rodriguez went to third when Gary Sheffield hit into a
fielder's choice, and scored on Matsui's sacrifice fly to left off
Shigetoshi Hasegawa.

New York's bullpen went 7 2/3 scoreless innings, with Paul
Quantrill (4-1) getting the victory by pitching the seventh.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 28th consecutive save and
12th this season.

The Mariners handed starter Jamie Moyer a 6-0 lead with a
six-run second, their biggest inning of the season. But he gave up
a solo homer to Rodriguez -- his seventh -- in the fourth, and a
three-run homer to Giambi -- his eighth -- in the sixth.

Rodriguez has been booed strongly on his visits to Safeco Field
since leaving Seattle as a free agent after the 2000 season to sign
a record $252 million contract with Texas. The boos are as strong
now as ever now that he's in a Yankees uniform.

He enjoyed coming out on top against the Mariners Sunday.

"Obviously, I'm in enemy territory," Rodriguez said. "I take
it as I'm going to war every day. They're going against me, but I'm
coming at them every day."

Moyer surrendered his eighth and ninth homers of the season,
most in the AL. In six innings, Moyer allowed four runs on six
hits, with no walks and five strikeouts.

The Mariners took their 6-0 lead in the second off Osborne,
making his first start since May 6, 1999.

Osborne, 34, surrendered six runs on six hits and two walks in 1
1/3 innings. He was out of baseball last season after being
released in spring training.

Torre tried to make Osborne feel better with humor afterward.

"I told him after the game was over, 'Without you today, this
comeback wouldn't have been possible,' " Torre said with a smile.
"I can kid with him like that because I've known him a long

Torre stopped short when asked if Donovan would start Saturday
at Yankee Stadium against the Mariners, the next time the Yankees
need a fifth starter.

Osborne was disappointed in his performance.

"I just didn't do my job today," he said. "I was up in the
zone for the time I was in."

Dan Wilson capped the big inning with a three-run homer after a
two-run double by Jolbert Cabrera and Rich Aurilia's RBI single.

It was the Mariners' biggest inning of the season and the most
runs scored in an inning against the Yankees this season.

After scoring their sixth run with one out in the second, the
Mariners had only three baserunners the rest of the game.

Mariners manager Bob Melvin said his team's weak offensive
effort after the second inning was the key to the loss.

"We need to try to add on there," he said. "When you score
six runs on a team like that, you need to try and pile it on on
right there and score a couple more runs. That is a tough

Game notes
Wilson's homer was only the 22nd of the season for the
Mariners, fewest in the AL. ... OF Bernie Williams tied Frank
Crosetti (1932-1948) for 10th place in games played at 1,683 with
the Yankees -- 11 behind current bench coach Willie Randolph. Mickey
Mantle is first with 2,401. ... Osborne had his shortest start
since getting just one out Aug. 23, 1993. ... Rodriguez hit his
34th career homer at Safeco Field. ... The Mariners blew their
fifth save of the season, and have five saves in 10 opportunities.