SEATTLE -- Yankees fans haven't had a lot of occasions this season to be thankful for Stephen Drew and Garrett Jones.
Tuesday night they were.
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With the Yankees down to their final strike in the ninth inning, Drew delivered a game-tying RBI single against Seattle closer Fernando Rodney.
Then, in the 11th, Drew singled with two outs against Tom Wilhelmsen and came around later on Garrett Jones' three-run homer off Joe Beimel that lifted the Yankees to a 5-3 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field.
"He's had some big hits for us but it's got to be rewarding because he worked really hard in Oakland to try and get some things right," Joe Girardi said of Drew, who brought a .160/.231/.301 slash line into Tuesday night's game, one in which he went 2-for-5. "He got a hit yesterday, he got a couple today. He's swinging the bat extremely well."
It was a satisfying night for Drew, benched in back-to-back games in Oakland as he worked through his issues in the cage.
"This game's a humbling game," Drew said. "I've been through it a lot and I've been working hard and the whole team is. This team's done great, it's resilient and it's fun to be a part of playing with these guys."
Jones has had his struggles as well. The backup first baseman and outfielder entered Tuesday hitting .232 with a .271 on-base percentage with one homer and four RBIs.
The lefthander Beimel was brought in to face him and, after getting ahead 2-and-0, Jones launched the next pitch deep to right.
"I was just going up there wanting to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on something and just hit it hard," Jones said. "I got 2-0 and he gave me a good pitch right over the heart of the plate and I got the good part of the bat on it. It feels great."
The overall wild night included Girardi being left open to second-guessing, a volcanic eruption at the umpires by Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon, and another base-running mistake by Didi Gregorius.
Andrew Miller allowed a run in the bottom of the 11th - Robinson Cano had an RBI single with two on and two outs -- but the lefthander struck out the dangerous Nelson Cruz, who represented the winning run, for his 16th save.
The Yankees (28-25) loaded the bases in the 10th against Wilhelmsen but failed to score as Cano showed there is still nothing wrong with his glove and he started an impressive 4-6-3 double play on a Carlos Beltran grounder back up the middle. (Beltran fouled a ball off his foot just before and was taken for X-rays after the game that came back negative).
That was only the second most frustrating blow scoring chance of the night for the Bombers, however, to that point.
First on the list was the seventh when Gregorius entered the game as a pinch hitter, the Yankees trailing 2-1, and the shortstop delivered a single. John Ryan Murphy followed with a broken-bat single to right, which gave Gregorius an easy path to third. Easy, until Gregorius stumbled into the dirt after rounding second, and was easily thrown out trying to scamper back to the bag.
"He tripped," Girardi shrugged. "What are you going to do?"
Down 2-1 in the ninth, the Yankees mounted an impressive rally against Rodney, putting runners at first and third. Chase Headley walked and, after consecutive outs, pinch hitter Brian McCann singled to left. Drew fell behind 1-and-2 before his big hit.
The Yankees had a mostly quiet night against Mike Montgomery, a 25-year-old lefty just called up and making his MLB debut. Montgomery allowed one run, four hits and two walks over six innings.
CC Sabathia scattered nine hits, walked two and struck out six over 52/3 innings, charged with two runs when David Carpenter couldn't get Austin Jackson, the former Yankee who had four hits.
Sabathia did not appear pleased when Girardi came to get him with two on and two out in the sixth, the score tied at 1. But Jackson already had three hits and Girardi decided to go with the Carpenter, whose rough season continued when the centerfielder's single gave the Mariners (24-28) a 2-1 lead.
"He's always been a tough out for me, ever since he got to the big leagues," Sabathia said.
Of being pulled by Girardi, the lefthander said: "That's his job. Obviously I want to stay in there as a pitcher, but it worked out."
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the third, though the Mariners contended the umpires were more responsible for that than anyone.
Brett Gardner walked -- he even reacted as if he had swung on what would have been ball four but third base umpire Tony Randazzo said he did not swing -- and he went to second on a wild pitch. Chris Young fouled out to first, bringing Alex Rodriguez to the plate. Rodriguez worked the count full and appeared to go but first base umpire Will Little denied the appeal by catcher Mike Zunino, setting off fireworks. Zunino gestured toward Little and the first-year full-time umpire quickly ejected him (Wellington Castillo replaced Zunino).
McClendon stormed at Little and almost immediately was tossed, leading to a nearly four-minute hat-kicking, dirt-kicking tirade in which the Mariners manager made his way from Little to plate umpire Mike DiMuro and then to Randazzo at third.
Mark Teixeira further infuriated the crowd by driving the first pitch he saw into the leftfield corner for an RBI double that made it 1-0 and gave him a team-best 40 RBIs.
The Mariners tied it in the bottom of the third. Jackson collected the second of his four hits and, after Bloomquist flew to center, went to third on Robinson Cano's single to right that Beltran mishandled for an error. Cruz beat the shift, swinging first pitch, punching a single through to right, bringing in Jackson to tie it at 1.