Yankees capitalize on Mariners’ five first-inning errors in 10-1 win
NEW YORK -- Considering what lies ahead for the New York Yankees, nobody was about to complain as the Seattle Mariners committed one error after another in the first inning.
Instead, they just simply took advantage of the bizarre set of circumstances.
Starlin Castro went 4-for-4 Sunday as the Yankees scored six runs in the first inning when the Mariners made five errors en route to a 10-1 rout.
“It was really strange and, we did a good of job of really capitalizing,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Heading into seven straight home games against division leaders Boston and Cleveland, the Yankees won for the ninth time in 13 games. They are 2 1/2 games behind Boston and 3 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota for the first American League wild-card spot.
“I think you just try to take advantage of it,” Yankees first baseman Chase Headley said. “Everybody is excited when your score runs. It doesn’t really matter if it’s on home runs or errors.”
Did they ever.
Castro began his 16th career four-hit day with a double to right field against Seattle left-hander Andrew Albers (2-1).
Then the fielding adventures began for the Mariners, who are 1 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second wild card.
Gary Sanchez followed with an RBI single to tie the score and wound up on second when left fielder Ben Gamel overran the ball. Gamel’s misplay was minor to the kind of day endured by shortstop Jean Segura.
Segura was charged with three errors, becoming the first shortstop to make three errors in an inning since Castro for the Chicago Cubs on April 25, 2011, at Colorado. It tied a dubious team record as it marked the sixth instance a Seattle shortstop made three errors and was the first time since Jack Wilson on May 4, 2010.
Segura’s first error occurred when he let a popup by Didi Gregorius to shallow left field fall in between him, Gamel and center fielder Guillermo Heredia. It was initially ruled a hit but quickly changed.
“There was a couple of big errors there. We don’t want to make an error,” said Segura, who also said Heredia called for the Gregorius popup. “I think everybody is ready to play and continue as a team and win some ballgames, but it happens. It happened crazy today, but it happens.”
The bloop error loaded the bases for the Yankees and helped give them a 2-1 lead when third baseman Kyle Seager simply dropped Headley’s ground ball.
After a strikeout by Todd Frazier, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to left field, but Segura experienced an adventure executing the relay to home plate. He missed Gamel’s throw for his second error and then overthrew catcher Mike Zunino for his third error as the Yankees took a 5-1 lead.
“We want to beat them,” Castro said. “We’ll take whatever mistake they make.”
Ellsbury scored on an RBI infield single to Seager by Ronald Torreyes. The Yankees added their final four runs after Girardi was ejected for seeking an explanation when it Segura ran out of the base line on a groundout by Robinson Cano.
Girardi challenged the play and when the review stood, he engaged in a demonstrative argument and quickly was tossed by second base umpire Mike Everitt.
After Girardi went to his office, the Yankees took a 7-1 lead on Castro’s RBI single in the third. The lead reached 8-1 when Castro scored on a sacrifice fly by Headley in the sixth. New York’s final two runs occurred in the seventh on a single by pinch-hitter Greg Bird.
The six-run first was more than enough for Masahiro Tanaka (10-10), who struck out 10 and pitched seven innings of one-run ball in his second start back from right shoulder inflammation.
Tanaka’s 100th career start began with him allowing three straight one-out hits, including an RBI double to Nelson Cruz, but he quickly finished the first and found a groove.
“He threw phenomenal,” Castro said.
The Mariners never recovered after the ugly opening inning and fell to 5-4 on a nine-game road trip. Seattle made at least four errors for the second time on the trip (also Monday in Atlanta) and according to STATS became the third team to make at least five errors in an inning since 1974.
The last team to do so was the Chicago Cubs, who made five of their seven miscues in the opening inning at St. Louis on July 2, 1977. Seattle also made at least five errors for the 16th time in team history, doing so for only third time since 1996.
“Certainly you can’t make that many mistakes and give a team that many extra outs,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It was a lot of unforced errors.”
Albers (2-1) tied career highs by allowing eight runs (three earned) and 11 hits in five-plus innings.
NOTES: Seattle OF Jarrod Dyson (strained right groin) was eligible to come off the disabled list and was not cleared to return. He will continue testing his groin before Monday’s game in Baltimore. ... Yankees DH Matt Holliday (back) continued his rehab assignment with Class A Tampa on Saturday by going 2-for-5. He may not return until Friday when rosters can be expanded. ... Mariners LHP James Paxton (pectoral) and RHP Felix Hernandez (right shoulder bursitis) played catch in Seattle, but neither is close to getting on a mound for a bullpen session. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected for the fifth time this season and 35th time since taking the job 2008.