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Yanks can't hold lead vs. Mariners

Yanks can't hold lead vs. Mariners

NEW YORK -- On an evening when the Yankees batted around in the first inning and put up season highs in both runs scored and hits, they still somehow trudged out of Yankee Stadium with a loss.

The end result wasn't as surprising as you might think. Through the first 27 games of the season, the Yankees have grown all too accustomed to the recipe of strong offensive performances and underwhelming pitching exhibitions.

The Bronx Bombers were in full effect on Friday, but Kei Igawa let an early lead leak away and the bullpen couldn't put out the fires, resulting in an ugly 15-11 loss to the Mariners.

"To be honest with you, probably 99 percent of the time we score 11 runs, I think we're going to win," said Derek Jeter, who went 0-for-6 and saw his 20-game hitting streak snapped.

The Yankees opened the game with a five-run scoring barrage against Mariners starter Cha Seung Baek, but the game's most memorable carnage was yet to come.

The Seattle fifth inning saw 13 men come to the plate and eight score in a 30-minute barrage.

"Five in the first -- unless you can shut the other team down -- is obviously not enough in today's baseball," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "Thirty years ago or 25 years ago, it was probably a little different."

Staked to a two-run lead by Alex Rodriguez's double in the previous inning, Igawa -- who abandoned his windup in favor of the stretch position, which he feels gives him better control -- allowed hits to Jose Vidro and Raul Ibanez to open the inning.

"You can't expect to survive when you can't get people out," said Torre, who described his feelings on the bench as "helpless."

On came reliever Colter Bean, who promptly walked his first two hitters on eight pitches, then surrendered six runs, including a bases-loaded walk, Kenji Johjima's RBI single and a two-run double to Yuniesky Betancourt.

Bean was lifted with a 2-0 count on Jose Lopez, who brought home the remaining two runners charged to Bean with a single to center field off Luis Vizcaino. Ibanez's two-run single to right off Vizcaino extended Seattle's lead to six runs.

Bean, a 30-year-old journeyman who had been unscored upon in his first three innings for the Yankees in 2007, saw his ERA balloon to 12.00 in the effort.

"I got brought up here to throw strikes," Bean said. "That's my one goal. When you don't do that, you let the whole team down. No excuses. It's just horrible."

The lead was the second lost advantage of the night for the Yankees, who batted around in the first inning against Baek, sending 10 men to the plate to bolster Igawa to a five-run lead.

Though Hideki Matsui extended the cushion in the third inning with his second home run, a solo shot to right, and Baek was gone after seven runs and 3 2/3 innings, Seattle chipped away to bring the game back even.

Igawa surrendered three home runs -- a solo shot by Johjima and two-run homers by Adrian Beltre and Jose Lopez -- in four-plus innings, allowing eight runs and nine hits while walking one and striking out two.

"This is my first year in Major League Baseball," Igawa said through an interpreter. "Everything I do is new to me. For me, there is a learning curve. I'm learning every day. For me, this is a way to learn and step up to be a part of the team."

Igawa also drew a warning for both benches from home-plate umpire Brian Gorman after brushing back Ichiro Suzuki following the home run to Lopez in the fourth inning.

"It was just a matter of lack of command," Torre said. "He didn't hit very good spots and didn't make enough good pitches. There were a lot of pitches up."

The underscored savior of the night for the Yankees turned out to be reliever Mike Myers, who kept raising his hand for more duty as he twirled four innings, setting a new career high.

The sidewinding lefty's previous career high was 2 1/3 innings, yet as he completed his first pair of frames in efficient style, Myers said he lobbied to pitching coach Ron Guidry to continue and help bail out a bullpen following its efforts in a Thursday doubleheader at Texas.

"It's fun while you're out there doing it and you're getting some good results, but you know why you're out there," Myers said. "That's the real reason why you can't really enjoy it that much."

Jorge Posada had two RBIs and a run scored, while Bobby Abreu moved toward snapping out of a 4-for-45 funk with three hits and two runs scored.

Johnny Damon also added a three-run homer in the seventh inning, but it went for naught as the Yankees were unable to finish off a rally that saw the team bring the tying run to the plate against J.J. Putz in the ninth inning.

"It's frustrating, but those [pitchers] are our teammates," Damon said. "They're going to pick us up like they did in Texas. Unfortunately, tonight, Seattle was on a mission."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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