Mariners to measure themselves against Yankees

NEW YORK — Comeback wins and one-run victories are defining the Seattle Mariners‘ climb to the top of the American League West.

Down to the wire and tight ballgames are bringing out a team Seattle fans have not seen in some time.

Now the Mariners get a chance to see how they stack up with the best team in baseball Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

The Mariners head to New York with a major-league-best 23 one-run wins and 21 comeback victories. Since May 18, they are 14-3 in one-game games and are 20 games over. 500 at 46-26, their third-best record through 72 games behind the 2003 and 2001 editions.

Despite striking out 11 times in Sunday’s 9-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Mariners are 13-4 in their last 17 games, 32-15 in their last 55 and their 28 wins since May 8 are the most in baseball.

“We’ll see them again next week in Boston and I think the guys are looking forward to it. I know they are,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “This stretch in our schedule, everybody looked at it early on and, ‘Oh, it’s going to be tough. You guys haven’t played anybody.’ But we’re just fine. You have to play the schedule. We don’t make it, we just play it. And we’re looking forward to the trip out East.”

Despite Seattle’s first loss by more than three runs since May 29, there were plenty of memorable moments during the seven-game homestand that also coincided with the Houston Astros winning 11 straight.

There was Mitch Haniger’s walk-off homer to complete the sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, the four-run comeback Friday and the 1-0 win highlighted by Wade LeBlanc’s performance Saturday night.

“We get down 3-1 and we are kind of looking around there, and in years past it kind of would have been a different feeling in the dugout there,” Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager told reporters. “There’s really not a lot of panic with this team. It’s just a different team.”

The Yankees are coming off a brief trip to Washington for a makeup of a suspended game followed the makeup of a rainout. They dropped the resumption of the suspended game 5-3 when Chad Green allowed a two-run homer to Juan Soto in the sixth and posted a 4-2 victory in the makeup game as Giancarlo Stanton had four hits.

Stanton’s third four-hit night occurred after he was 2-for-13 in the four-game series at Yankee Stadium. Stanton is hitting .212 (29-for-137) with seven homers and 19 RBIs at home this season.

Overall, the Yankees (47-22) are 14-4 in their last 18 games since May 22.

New York played without left fielder Brett Gardner the last two games because of knee pain. He is day to day, but the Yankees called up Clint Frazier on Monday.

“We’ve had timely hits, big hits, guys step up,” Stanton said Saturday. “We haven’t all clicked at the same time. Once that happens and we’re on all cylinders, there’s more room to get better.”

Seattle owns a team ERA of 3.86 and left-hander Marco Gonzales, who starts the opener, has been its hottest pitcher. He is 4-0 with a 1.41 ERA in his last six starts. During those outings, hitters are batting .204 against him.

Gonzales last pitched in Wednesday’s 8-6 win over the Angels when he allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings. It was only the second time in his last 10 starts Gonzales did not complete six innings.

Gonzales is making his 29th career start and first against the Yankees.

Domingo German will make his eighth start and is hoping to get the Mariners to swing and miss as much as the Tampa Bay Rays did last Thursday in his first career win. In a 4-3 victory, he became the sixth pitcher to get at least 26 swings and misses this season while allowing three runs and five hits in six innings.

“He’s matured every start,” Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres said of German. “Every day is better and better. He does the job. I think that’s what’s most important.”

German is 1-3 with a 5.77 ERA in seven career starts and is making his first appearance against the Mariners.

“It’s been a long battle for me,” German said through an interpreter before getting the ball from the game presented to him by pitching coach Larry Rothchild. “To be able to win my first game in the big leagues, it means a lot. Hopefully, I can relax a little more after getting the first one and keep battling.”