Kikuchi, Seager, Mariners beat Yankees, avoid 4-game sweep

MLB Baseball

NEW YORK (AP)Yusei Kikuchi and the Seattle bullpen combined on a six-hitter, Kyle Seager doubled to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning and the Mariners avoided a four-game sweep, beating the New York Yankees 2-0 Sunday.

The Yankees had won five in a row. They lost for only the third time in 13 games, ending a tightly contested series between playoff contenders.

New York rookie starter Luis Gil pitched two-hit ball for five scoreless innings, striking out eight. In his big league debut Tuesday against Baltimore, he threw six shutout innings, allowing four hits and fanning six.

Kikuchi and Mariners relievers Casey Sadler, Paul Sewald (7-3) and Drew Steckenrider combined to strike out 12.

Abraham Toro opened the Seattle eighth against Lucas Luetge (4-2) by reaching on a fielding error by third baseman Rougned Odor. After Mitch Haniger walked, Seager hit a double that bounced beyond right fielder Aaron Judge’s reach and into the seats for a double.

After Seager’s hit, Mariners manager Scott Servais was ejected by plate umpire Lance Barrett for arguing a called strike three on rookie Jarred Kelenic, who was also tossed.

Cal Raleigh followed with a single to left that originally scored two runs. After the Yankees challenged the call, Seager was ruled out at the plate following a replay review.

The Mariners finished 4-6 on a 10-game trip. Eight games on the trip were decided by no more than two runs and each of the four games in New York was decided in the sixth inning or later.

Sewald got four of his five outs on strikeouts. He allowed Joey Gallo’s go-ahead three-run homer in Thursday night’s series opener.

Sewald entered with two on in the sixth and fanned pinch-hitter Brett Gardner and DJ LeMahieu. He also struck out Judge and Gallo in the seventh.

Steckenrider pitched two innings for his fourth save in seven chances. He allowed an infield hit to Gardner and fanned Judge to end the nearly four-hour game.

Kikuchi, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth in his previous appearance in New York in May 2019, allowed four hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked three while keeping the Yankees off-balance at times with a deceptive delivery that featured a slight hesitation.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford (illness) was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game and entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth.

Yankees: 3B Gio Urshela (strained left hamstring) took defensive drills, ran the bases and could be activated from the 10-day injured list when eligible on Wednesday. . RHP Luis Severino (recovery from Tommy John surgery, Grade 2 groin strain) was slated for a rehab game later Sunday at Double-A Somerset.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (5-3, 4.14 ERA) opens a three-game series against Texas on Tuesday. Seattle had won 11 straight games started by Gilbert before Wednesday in Tampa Bay.

Yankees: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-4, 4.04), who is 6-0 with a 2.35 ERA in his last nine starts, opens a three-game series in Kansas City on Monday.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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