SEATTLE - The topic was broached to Joe Girardi for the first time this season, but certainly not the last.

Why, he was asked Tuesday afternoon, is a severely slumping Derek Jeter still entrenched in the two-hole?

"He's always been a guy that has responded during the course of time when people have been ready to say that [we] should move him and one year [2012] he ended up with 200-plus hits," Girardi said. "You know, you can look at Derek in the No. 2 slot but we have a lot of guys that have struggled. Maybe because of his name he's going to be the focus more than other guys but we've had a lot of guys struggle."

Speaking before Tuesday night's game, Jeter said it's on him to help get the offense going.

"I always feel that way," Jeter said. "I always feel as though any time you're scuffling to score you have to do a lot of little things and a lot of the little things is my job, so I need to pick it up."

Jeter then went out and, for one night, did just that, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs in the Yankees' 3-2 victory over the Mariners in front of 28,405 at Safeco Field.

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Jeter, in an 8-for-47 slide coming in, doubled with one out in the eighth and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's single to put the Yankees ahead 3-2.

"I feel like this type of game's the one that's been eluding us a little bit," Ellsbury said. "Hopefully, if we can win these types of games, we're going to be in great shape. We have very good hitters. I just think it's a matter of time before we really start scoring."

Said Girardi: "Hopefully that's a huge hit that gets us on a roll here."

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless eighth and David Robertson, though he walked Dustin Ackley with two outs, pitched a scoreless ninth to record his 15th save in 17 chances. He struck out John Buck on three breaking pitches to end it.

Lefthander Vidal Nuño, who came in 1-2 with a 5.33 ERA, allowed one run, despite getting hit hard throughout, and was saved several times by his defense. Nuño gave up four hits and one walk with two strikeouts.

"Our defense played a big role today," Nuño said.

After Ellsbury made a sliding catch on Cano's sinking liner for the second out of the sixth, Joe Girardi called for righthander Dellin Betances, who got pinch hitter Endy Chavez to ground out to second to end the inning with the Yankees (32-31) still ahead 2-1.

Kyle Seager, robbed earlier in the game on a fine catch by Ichiro Suzuki on the track in right-center, grounded to second to start the seventh and Betances hit Mike Zunino with a pitch. With Michael Saunders at the plate, Betances threw a curveball in the dirt, the wild pitch putting Zunino on second.

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It turned out to be a significant mistake.

Betances struck out Saunders but Ackley, 0-for-2 to that point, lined a 1-and-2 curveball to right for a single that brought in Zunino, tying it at 2.

Ackley's hit was no small feat. Coming into the game, batters with two strikes against Betances were just 7-for-86 (.081) this season. Despite giving up the run, an appreciative Betances (4-0) got the victory.

"The guys definitely picked me up," he said.

Brett Gardner missed by just a foot or two putting the Yankees ahead in the eighth, crushing Hisashi Iwakuma's 1-and-0 pitch down the rightfield line, the ball hooking foul at the last instant. Jeter followed and jumped on Iwakuma's first pitch, an 83-mph slider, for a double to left-center, his sixth double of the season. Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon brought in lefthander Charlie Furbush to face Ellsbury. The centerfielder, 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Iwakuma, extended his hitting streak to 14 games with single to right, bringing in Jeter to put the Yankees ahead for good.

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Ellsbury got the hit on an 0-and-2 count, which impressed Carlos Beltran, who had two hits, including a run-scoring double "Great. He's been doing that," Beltran said. "He's been playing great for us, defensively and offensively."