- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - Fernando Rodney will be keeping his new copper hairdo.

Rodney gave up a homer in the eighth inning to Mark Teixeira, and the Seattle Mariners dropped the finale of a three-game series to the New York Yankees 2-1 Sunday.

“It stays,” Rodney said. “I’m not worried about that at all.”

The former closer bound into the clubhouse with a big smile and colorful new do Sunday morning, saying he’s to be called “El Rubio.” He was not so buoyant after Seattle dropped to 1-10 following a win since June 21.

But, Rodney didn’t think his new look had anything to do with the 1-2 pitch that Teixeira drove into short right field porch for the lead.

“He hit my best pitch,” said Rodney, who lost his job as the closer June 10. “Sometimes we’re not perfect, and that was one of those times.”

On a steamy day with a gametime temperature of 92 degrees - a thermometer in the photographers’ well down the first base line read over 100 - both Cy Young Award winning starters, CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez, were done after six impressive innings with the score tied 1-all.

“He matched one of the best pitchers in baseball pitch for pitch,” Teixeira said of Sabathia.

Sabathia, the 2007 AL Cy Young winner, had one of his best starts of the year, allowing six hits and striking out seven. Hernandez, selected in 2010, yielded five hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

“CC pitched extremely well today. His command was exceptional,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “So was Felix.”

Carlos Beltran returned from the disabled list and had a tying RBI single in the sixth after Austin Jackson put Seattle ahead with a run-scoring single.

Dellin Betances (6-2) walked two in the eighth but got Mark Trumbo to pop out to end the threat. Andrew Miller finished for his 20th save in 20 chances.

Seattle’s Jesus Montero singled against his former team to start the fifth after Sabathia struck out four straight. Chris Taylor then failed on two bunt attempts before lining a single to right field. Mike Zunino did get the bunt down to put runners on second and third for Jackson, who singled to center for the early lead.

Sabathia struck out Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano to end the inning.

Montero was sent back to Triple-A Tacoma after the game despite going 2 for 2 with a walk.

“They gave me an opportunity to be here,” he said. “I’m going to continue to do my best and get back here.”

Embarrassed by the Yankees on June 1 at Safeco when he was tagged for seven runs, Hernandez was back to form again a ballpark he’s been very comfortable in. He didn’t let a baserunner past second until the sixth.

“Today was a little better,” Hernandez said. “My breaking ball and throwing inside too, both were working better today.”

Jackson helped Hernandez out of his only early trouble by catching a sinking liner with a runner on second to end the second. The right-hander waited at third base to thank the center fielder for his effort.

Brett Gardner, sporting shiny new white shoes with gold trim, led off the Yankees sixth with a walk. Taylor broke to cover second base with one out, and Teixeira hit a sharp grounder to the spot the shortstop just left. Taylor tried diving back but the ball went through to put runners on first and third.

“Felix was one pitch from getting out of an inning,” McClendon said. “It was unfortunate.”

Beltran singled Gardner home for the 1-all tie and his first RBI since June 22.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: 1B Logan Morrison was given the day off. He’s in a 12-for-90 slump (.133).

Yankees: The Yankees optioned 2B Rob Refsnyder to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Beltran. The 24-year-old Korean-born rookie was 2 for 12 with a homer in four games.

UP NEXT

Mariners: The team will recall J.A. Happ (4-5) to start Monday against Detroit. Happ agreed to an assignment to Class A Bakersfield July 10 to allow Seattle to bring up an extra bat before the All-Star break.

Yankees: After an off day, Nathan Eovaldi (9-2) starts the opener of a series against division rival Baltimore. He’s 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his last five starts. The RHP allowed homers to Caleb Joseph and Jimmy Paredes in a win May 7 at Yankee Stadium.

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