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Thursday April 26, 2001
Mariners 7 @ Yankees 3

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BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- The Seattle Mariners can do little wrong. Mike Mussina can do little right.

Yankee killer Edgar Martinez had four RBI and snapped a tie with a two-run double off Mussina in the top of the seventh inning as the rampaging Mariners completed a three-game sweep of the three-time defending World Series champions with a 7-2 victory.

Martinez is a career .322 hitter with 83 RBI in 391 at-bats against the Yankees.

"We've been playing great ball and pitching well," said Martinez, who is batting .360 (18-of-50) lifetime against Mussina. "We've been hitting well and the defense is playing great."

Seattle stretched its winning streak to seven games, completed its first sweep in New York since July 25-27, 1997 and extended the best start in franchise history to 18-4.

The Mariners' start is the best in the major leagues since 1987, when the Milwaukee Brewers won 20 of their first 23 games.

"You come in and sweep the Yankees, we never thought about anything like that," Seattle center fielder Mike Cameron said. "The fact that we came in here and swept them is unbelievable."

The Yankees dropped to .500 and are 5-11 against teams other than the Kansas City Royals. They are 5-9 since a 6-2 start.

"Their hitting is beating our pitching," New York manager Joe Torre said. "Moose battled tonight. We're just not giving our pitchers too much breathing room. That's a problem. Every pitch seems to be a do-or-die situation. We're not hitting and that is putting extra stress on the pitching staff."

Torre still needs two victories to become the sixth Yankees' manager with 500 wins.

"Two wins seems very close but when you're struggling like this, it seems like a mile away," he said. "We just need to get on the right track. We'll get on a good streak sooner or later."

Jamie Moyer (4-0) held New York to two runs and six hits over six innings with a walk and strikeout.

"He was just pretty typical Jamie Moyer, just mixing up pitches," New York third baseman Scott Brosius said. "A lot of off-speed stuff."

"We won, it's the most important thing," Moyer added. "I felt like I was pitching behind the whole night and was just trying to pick spots where you keep the damage to a minimum."

New York staged a mild rally in the bottom of the ninth, closing to 7-3 when former Yankee Jeff Nelson walked Paul O'Neill with the bases loaded and two outs. But Arthur Rhodes got Bernie Williams to ground to shortstop for his first save of the season.

Closer Kazuhiro Sasaki was not available after saving the first two games of the series.

Although he tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Royals in his Yankees' debut on April 5, Mussina (1-3) is having trouble adjusting to his new surroundings. The righthander suffered his third straight loss, allowing five runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings as his ERA climbed to 4.78 ERA.

"Obviously, it didn't go that well," Mussina said. "We're not getting good pitching when we need it. We're not getting good hitting. It's a tough stretch. You can't play like that against a team like Seattle, the way they're going."

After the Yankees stranded runners on the corners in the sixth, the Mariners went to work against Mussina.

"He's always tough," Cameron said. "I think what happened tonight was he left a couple pitches up in the zone. We were able to scratch a couple hits, got a big hit when we needed it."

Pinch hitter Tom Lampkin set a three-run rally in motion with a leadoff single. Rookie Ichiro Suzuki forced Lampkin but stole second. Mussina walked Cameron and paid for it when Martinez ripped a double to deep left-center field.

"He hits the ball where you pitch it," Mussina said. "I tried to do little things to him but he got me in a bad spot. It seems like right now that I'm making the wrong decisions."

Mike Stanton replaced Mussina and gave up a single to John Olerud. Bret Boone greeted Ramiro Mendoza with a sacrifice fly that gave the Mariners a three-run cushion.

Seattle made it 7-2 in the eighth when Mendoza gave up an RBI double to Cameron and a run-scoring single to Martinez.

New York grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second as Tino Martinez doubled, stole third and scored on David Justice's sacrifice fly.

But the Mariners tied in the fourth. Olerud led off with a single, took third on Boone's double and came home on David Bell's sacrifice fly.

Cameron doubled with one out in the fifth and scored on Martinez's RBI single to give Seattle a 2-1 lead. The Yankees tied it in the bottom half on a solo homer by Chuck Knoblauch, his first since July 22.

New York had a chance to take the lead in the sixth as Bernie Williams got to third with two outs. But Justice was intentionally walked and rookie Alfonso Soriano grounded out to lead the two runners stranded.