NEW YORK -- Melky Cabrera homered leading off the 11th inning and the New York Yankees rallied for a rain-delayed 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners last night.
Helped by a blown call in the ninth and playing a giddy Johnny Damon at first base, the streaking Yankees won their fifth straight and ninth in 10 games.
Richie Sexson hit a three-run homer and Joel Pineiro held a depleted Yankees lineup in check for six-plus innings before New York came back against J.J. Putz.
The Yankees got a decent debut from starter Sidney Ponson but were trailing, 4-2, when Andy Phillips doubled leading off the ninth. He scored on a one-out single by pinch-hitter Aaron Guiel.
As thunder crackled and a heavy rain began to fall, pinch runner Bubba Crosby advanced to second on Putz's wild pitch.
Then the Yankees got a huge break. Second baseman Jose Lopez made a sliding grab of Jorge Posada's grounder on the slick outfield grass, found a firm grip, and threw a strike to first. But umpire Mike Reilly called the slow-footed Posada safe -- replays clearly showed he was out -- leaving runners at the corners.
The Mariners protested, and a white towel came sailing out of Seattle's dugout. Manager Mike Hargrove charged out to argue and was quickly ejected by Reilly.
Damon followed with a sacrifice fly that tied it at 4. It was Putz's third blown save in 20 chances. Reilly halted play with a 3-and-1 count on Alex Rodriguez, who didn't start because of a sore toe. After a delay of 1 hour 58 minutes, he struck out looking against Julio Mateo.