(Originally posted for Baseball Digest)
The first two times the Yankees took the lead Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte gave it right back. Once the Yankees took the lead for the third time, Pettitte was able to hold it, and the Yankees were on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners to extend their winning streak to seven.
Pettitte pitched seven innings, allowing two earned runs or six hits while striking out five.
The Yankees took the lead in the third inning on Johnny Damon's 15th home run of the season, a solo shot to right field. He has now homered 11 times at new Yankee Stadium.
The lead was short-lived, as Pettitte gave it right back in the top of the fourth. Jose Lopez led off with a double and advanced to third on a fly out. After a walk put runners on first and third with one out, Wladimir Balentien hit a grounder to first that Mark Teixeira bobbled. Though he was able to get the out at second, the bobble cost the Yankees a shot at the double play. As a result, the tying run scored.
It stayed a 1-1 game until the bottom of the fifth when Melky Cabrera snuck a ball just fair for another solo home run. In fact, the play was so close that the umpires had to review it. Ultimately, the call was upheld and the Yankees had a 2-1 lead.
But just like the last time they took the lead, Pettitte gave it right back in the next half-inning. Ken Griffey Jr. hit a solo home run to right to tie the game at 2.
The Yankees didn't wait long to retake the lead. Teixeira led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. He was then followed by Alex Rodriguez, who hit a long two-run home run to center, his second in as many days, to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead. The bullpen pitched two perfect innings after Pettitte left in the seventh, including Mariano Rivera's 20th save of the season.
The Yankees haven't trailed since Joe Girardi was ejected in the sixth inning Atlanta last Wednesday. They are now 13 games over .500, which is their highest mark this season.
CC Sabathia takes the mound tomorrow night as the Yankees look for a sweep.