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Pettitte, Yankees Shutout M's


Lou Piniella sent a message to the New York Yankees by bringing pitcher Frankie Rodriguez in as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning. Andy Pettitte sent his own message to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

One day after a fight-marred victory, the Yankees got three-hit pitching from Pettitte for seven innings and beat Seattle and rookie Freddy Garcia 1-0 Saturday night.

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Game Summary

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  • "It was kind of funny to see him out there," said Yankees catcher Joe Girardi, who was knocked down by Rodriguez's two-punch barrage at home plate in Friday night's bench-clearing brawl.

    "He obviously could run," New York manager Joe Torre said of Seattle manager Piniella's ninth-inning move to Rodriguez after Jay Buhner led off the ninth with a double. "I was just glad he didn't get a chance to cross home plate."

    Said a grinning Piniella, when asked about his decision to use Rodriguez: "He's an athlete."

    It was the first 1-0 decision in 17 games at Safeco Field, which became the Mariners' home ballpark July 15. The retractable roof was closed just before the game started because of the threat of rain.

    Both teams played a businesslike game without a trace of tempers, one night after Rodriguez and Girardi squared off at home plate in the ninth, triggering a bench-clearing fight in the Yankees' 11-8 win.

    Pettitte (9-8) went over .500 for the first time since May 28, allowing only a double by Edgar Martinez in the second inning, a double by Buhner in the fifth and a single by Russ Davis in the seventh.

    In te sixth, Pettitte issued one-out walks to Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Martinez to load the bases, but got Buhner to hit a one-bouncer back to him for a 1-2-3 double play.

    Pettitte said Friday night's fight cleared all the tension from the air.

    "Once you go out and start brawling, it's a done deal I think," he said. "It was a shame it had to happen the way it did last night. But it was done."

    Mike Stanton replaced Pettitte to start the eighth. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his third straight save of the series and 31st of the season.

    After Buhner's double, pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez's infield out moved Rodriguez to third, but he was stranded when pinch hitters Tom Lampkin and John Mabry grounded out.

    In his previous start Monday night, Pettitte went eight innings and gave up one earned run in a 3-1 win over Toronto.

    Garcia (11-7), coming off a combined shutout against Tampa Bay in his previous start, didn't allow a baserunner until the fifth and pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game.

    After striking out Bernie Williams in the fifth, one of his three strikeouts of the Yankees' cleanup hitter, Garcia walked Tino Martinez. He then surrendered a double to right to Chili Davis that sent Martinez to third before intentionally walking Ricky Ledee.

    Scott Brosius hit a sacrifice fly to right fielder Ozzie Timmons. Timmons threw to the plate, but Martinez slid and beat the tag on a close play.

    The Yankees were prepared to unload Pettitte, 27, before last Saturday's trading deadline because of his lack of aggressiveness, but Steinbrenner decided to keep him.

    "Maybe it was in the back of my head early," Pettitte said. "I think you all can tell how easy it is for me to get out of sync and start overthrowing. I had great control and great command tonight."

    Davis said he's seen a different Pettitte in his last two strts.

    "He's got guys swinging at pitches now that they weren't swinging at earlier," Davis said. "That's the old Andy Pettitte I know. It's just my opinion, but all the trading stuff is all over with now and he can just go out and relax and pitch."

    In two starts this week, Pettitte is 2-0, allowing one run in 15 innings. He had four strikeouts and a season-high six walks Saturday night.

    Garcia matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and issued three walks, one intentionally.

    Notes

  • Williams went 0-for-3 on Saturday night after going 9-for-12 in his last three games and 7-for-9 in the first two games of the series.
  • Yankees' RHP Jeff Nelson (elbow) could rejoin the team after scheduled rehab starts Sunday and Monday in Florida.
  • Highly touted Yankees prospect Alfonso Soriano (oblique) is slated to make his first rehab appearance Monday for Tampa of the rookie Gulf Coast League.
  • New York has promoted pitcher Ricardo Aramboles, 17, who received a $1.52 million signing bonus last year, to Class-A Greensboro from rookie-level Tampa of the Gulf Coast League.
  • Buhner played first base for the first time in his career. He won a Gold Glove in right field for the Mariners in 1996.
  • Derek Jeter returned to the Yankees' lineup after being held out Friday night after being hit by a pitch in the wrist Thursday night. He had a single in the sixth.
  • The Yankees got their eighth shutout of the season, tying them with Boston for the American League lead.
  • The Mariners were shut out for the fourth time this season.
  • The Mariners are 1-4 at Safeco when the roof is closed.
  • The Yankees are 5-1 against Seattle this season.

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