Wang pitches Yankees to 5-1 victory over Mariners

NEW YORK — Chien-Ming Wang has turned into the New York Yankees’ stopper.

Wang became the American League’s first six-game winner, ending the Yankees’ three-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on a chilly Friday night.

Wang (6-0) pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning, and Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera completed a four-hitter. The Yankees improved to 27-7 when Wang starts following a loss, winning 11 in a row, and he is 22-6 in those games. He’s even more consistent against Seattle, improving to 7-0 against the Mariners in seven career starts.

Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single in the first inning and Melky Cabrera added a two-run double in the second off Erik Bedard (2-1). Bedard entered with a 20-inning scoreless streak against the Yankees but was hurt by Seattle’s defense, which made four errors and allowed two unearned runs. New York padded its lead in the eighth, when Morgan Ensberg hit an RBI single off Sean Green and Jose Molina had a sacrifice fly.

While Wang has been consistent, the Yankees’ other starters are 6-12.

“You have a lot of confidence that he’s going to throw well and give you depth,” manager Joe Girardi said before the game.

New York has won all seven of his starts this year. It was a dose of good news for the Yankees, who learned that catcher Jorge Posada will be sidelined for at least five weeks because of shoulder inflammation. New York also is without Alex Rodriguez, on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.

“We just can’t win one out of five games, every time Wang pitches,” co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said at the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla. “It’s not going to work. It’s not a good win percentage. Starting pitching is where it’s at, especially in the postseason. At this point, we’ll see if we even make the postseason.”

Bedard, in his second start since returning from a hip injury, was nearly as sharp. He allowed four hits in seven innings — none after the second — struck out six and walked one, retiring his final 14 batters.

While the temperature was 49 degrees, damp air and a swirling wind made it feel much colder. Players wore hoodies and ski caps during batting practice.

“If this is spring, bring back winter,” read the signboard adjacent to Mike Mussina’s locker.

Seattle lost its third straight and dropped to 6-10 on the road. The Mariners got their run in the sixth, when Ichiro Suzuki singled, stole second and third and came home on Raul Ibanez’s groundout.

Jamie Burke walked with one out in the fifth, just after a Yankees trainer came out to check on Wang. Yuniesky Betancourt swung at the next pitch and grounded into a double play.

“Guys are trying too hard. They’re trying to do too much,” Mariners manager John McLaren said before the game.

Notes: When Yankees captain Derek Jeter walked Thursday night, it ended a streak of 61 plate appearances without a walk, his longest since 2004. He entered Friday averaging 3.1 pitches per plate appearance, the lowest in the majors among players with 80 or more plate appearances. … Seattle also had four errors April 5 in a 6-4 loss at Baltimore. … Molina was 0-for-3 and is hitless in his last 22 ABs. … Cabrera had been hitless in his previous seven at-bats against Bedard before the double. … Farnsworth was booed when he entered the game. … Suzuki stole three bases. … The Yankees reached 4 million tickets sold at home for the fourth straight year, topping the previous major league record set by Toronto (1991-93).

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