Bronx, NY – Raul Ibanez belted a go-ahead three-run homer off Felix Hernandez and the New York Yankees opened a three-game series with a 6-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
Ibanez's homer made it 4-2 in the sixth and Andruw Jones added a two-run shot in the eighth for the Yankees, who have won four of five.
Robinson Cano went 4-for-4 and starter Hiroki Kuroda (3-4) earned the win in seven good innings. He gave up two runs on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
Both Seattle runs came on solo homers hit by Dustin Ackley to lead off the game and Jesus Montero to start the sixth inning, which gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead.
"He gave us an outstanding performance tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Kuroda.
Hernandez (3-2) had been 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA in three previous starts at the new Yankee Stadium and 4-1 in five starts overall in the Bronx prior to Friday's tilt.
But the 26-year-old righty was charged with four runs on 11 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Ibanez, the former Mariner, knocked a first-pitch sinker over the right field wall with two outs in the sixth to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead.
"It was a mistake. I tried to throw a sinker and the ball doesn't move," said Hernandez. "One pitch, game over."
It marked only the second time in eight starts this season that Hernandez gave up more than two runs. He threw 23 pitches in the inning to put him at 96 for the game.
"Raul's a selective hitter," Girardi said. "But it was smart. He jumped on him."
Michael Saunders drew a leadoff walk against Kuroda in the seventh but was thrown out by Russell Martin trying to steal second base and the Yankees righty got two more quick outs.
Hernandez got a double play ground ball in the bottom of the seventh, but was pulled for Charlie Furbush after giving up a single to Alex Rodriguez, who was 2-for-3.
Jones homered into the Mariners bullpen after Steve Delabar relieved Furbush in the eighth to make it 6-2. The Yankees used Boone Logan and David Robertson in the ninth to lock down the win.
Earlier, Ackley smacked an opposite field homer to left on Kuroda's third pitch of the game, but the Yankees tied it in the bottom of the first after Curtis Granderson singled, stole second base and scored on Cano's base hit. Cano was easily tagged out trying to take second base on the relay throw.
Rodriguez hit the first of three consecutive singles by the Yankees to lead off the fourth, but was thrown out trying to score on Mark Teixeira's hit to shallow left field.
Mike Carp's throw beat a sliding Rodriguez to the plate and Hernandez escaped the inning without giving up a run.
It remained 1-1 until Montero led off the sixth inning with an opposite field homer to right to give the Mariners the lead.
The Yankees activated Eric Chavez from the seven-day disabled list after he suffered a concussion during a game last week. Chavez was 1-for-3 as the designated hitter. The Yankees also optioned utility man Eduardo Nunez to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre...Ibanez belted his sixth home run while Jones hit his fourth, Ackley his second and Montero his fifth...Hernandez has 58 strikeouts in 59 innings this season...The Mariners opened a 10-game road trip. They were coming off 4-2 homestand.