SEATTLE (Ticker) -- The New York Yankees got off the hook in their Division Series and now are hanging baseball's best team out to dry.
Mike Mussina allowed two runs in six innings and Scott Brosius highlighted a three-run second with a two-run double as the three-time defending world champions posted a 3-2 triumph over the Seattle Mariners in Game Two of the American League Championship Series.
The Yankees took both games in Seattle and head home for three in a row. New York has won four straight postseason games and appears headed for a fifth World Series appearance in six years.
That thought seemed unlikely just five days ago, when the Yankees were down two games to none against the Oakland Athletics in the best-of-five ALDS. But New York won Game Three in Oakland behind a dominant effort by Mussina and has not lost since.
"I think, certainly, being on the heels of coming back from an 0-2 deficit, we certainly know that this series is not over," Brosius said. "Obviously, you could not ask for more, to come into the visiting park and come away with two wins."
Seattle, which tied a major league record with 116 victories during the regular season, must win twice in New York just to force a return to Safeco Field.
"We had so much success during the regular season and you want it to continue into the postseason, but it hasn't," Mariners catcher Dan Wilson said. "Something may happen yet because there is still a lot of baseball to play, but we have to make the most of opportunities we are given and we have to take advantage of them, too."
Mariners manager Lou Piniella opened his postgame news conference by declaring the series will return to Seattle.
"We're going to be back here to play Game Six, OK?" he said. "I told the people outside the same thing. We are going to be back here to play Game Six. ... I've got confidence in my baseball club. We've gone to New York and beat this baseball team five out of six times and we're going to do it again."
Mussina (2-0) allowed a two-run homer to Stan Javier in the fourth but just three other hits. In his second straight strong start, the veteran righthander walked one and struck out three.
Even without his best stuff, Mussina was able to post his sixth straight win, dating to August 23.
"It wasn't flowing as well as it has the last few games," said Mussina, who improved to 4-1 in the postseason. "It was work, it was tough. You're in a situation where you want to put out your best performance and you feel you have to put out your best performance. Considering the team you are playing against and considering the situation, it was a struggle."
Ramiro Mendoza tossed 1 1/3 innings and Mariano Rivera recorded the final five outs in order for his 22nd straight postseason save.
"It's remarkable, considering what a short period of time it's happened in," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Again, it's not going to happen every single time, but I know one thing, he comes in there with the frame of mind that it is brand new every time and from the first one to the 22nd, there's been a lot going on in that time where he's sort of refined what he does with the baseball."
"I'll tell you what, I don't think about it," Rivera added. "I just go there and try to do my best job that I can do that night."
Seattle ace Freddy Garcia (1-2) gave his team a solid effort on three days' rest, allowing three runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings.
"Home-field advantage does not mean that much," Yankees right fielder Paul O'Neill said. "The key is to keep your momentum going every day. That is what you need to win. These games are close. It is not like blowouts are going on out there."
The Yankees left a runner in scoring position in the first and Seattle seemed poised to break on top in the bottom of the inning as Ichiro Suzuki and Bret Boone singled one out apart. But Edgar Martinez, who was hitting .377 against Mussina, bounced into an inning-ending double play.
New York scored three times in the second. Tino Martinez singled and Jorge Posada walked on a 3-2 pitch. O'Neill flied out, but Brosius doubled into the left-field corner. Martinez scored easily and Posada was able to come around when the ball took a bad hop on Javier.
Rookie Alfonso Soriano flied out, but Chuck Knoblauch lined a pitch into short center field. Seattle's Mike Cameron charged and tried to sell a catch, but it was ruled a trap as Brosius scored easily.
"My thought was to try to get a fastball if I can," said Brosius, who was 1-for-20 in the postseason before that at-bat. "He had good command of his offspeed today. He had a real good curveball and a changeup, so I was just trying to think about getting something straight to hit."
Mussina got the first two batters in the second easily before Javier walked and Wilson singled. But David Bell struck out to end the threat.
Cameron made a spectacular grab with a runner on in the third, but Seattle wasted an opportunity in the bottom of the inning. Suzuki hit a long fly ball to center that Bernie Williams dropped for a two-base error. Mark McLemore could not get down a bunt and fouled out to left.
Boone followed with a long fly to center that would have scored Suzuki had McLemore done his job. Suzuki took third on the flyout, but Edgar Martinez flied weakly to center.
"You can't take anything for granted out there and I did," Williams said. "I took my eye off the ball for a second and look what happened. I spent the rest of that inning trying to get my focus back."
Seattle eventually got to Mussina in the fourth as Cameron was hit by a pitch and Javier crushed a 1-0 pitch over the wall in center field for his first career postseason home run.
New York put two aboard in the fifth, but Garcia got David Justice to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Mussina breezed through the sixth and Mendoza came on in the seventh. Wilson singled with one out and moved up on a groundout. Torre opted to walk Suzuki, who hit .449 with men in scoring position. The strategy proved sound when McLemore grounded weakly to first to end the inning.
"We thought he was bearing down on the pitches, so we decided to take that out of it," Posada said. "Every pitch in a game like this counts. Joe wanted to get to McLemore, he just felt it was a better combination."
"Suzuki has hit over .400 with men in scoring position," Piniella added. "I think (Torre) made the right choice. Sometimes you've got to take chances, and he's been in these type of situations before and he's been victorious, so how can you question anything he does."
Mendoza allowed a one-out single to Edgar Martinez in the eighth and Rivera came on to retire John Olerud and Cameron.
After former Yankee Jeff Nelson escaped a jam in the top of the ninth, Rivera was dominant in the bottom half. Javier and Bell struck out around a squib in front of the plate by pinch hitter Al Martin.