NEW YORK -- Raul Ibanez tried jumping at the first pitch against Felix Hernandez, and that didn't work.
Then he tried patience, and that failed, too.
So he went back to being aggressive, and that paid off.
Ibanez hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off his former Seattle teammate with two outs in the sixth inning, leading the New York Yankees over the Mariners, 6-2, Friday night.
"When you're facing an elite pitcher like him, sometimes the first pitch is the best one he's going to throw you," Ibanez said. "Then he gets nasty."
Hernandez, his teammate from 2005 to '08, had just been given a 2-1 lead. He started Ibanez the same way in every at-bat.
"I was throwing that sinker for the first pitch," he said, before detailing the mistake that caused the homer: "That was in the middle of the plate."
Robinson Cano had four hits for New York, which overcame home runs by Dustin Ackley and former-Yankee Jesus Montero to send the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner to his first loss in four decisions at new Yankee Stadium. On consecutive nights, New York beat Tampa Bay's David Price and King Felix, among the AL's elite pitchers.
"I just think our guys are starting to feel better at the plate," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Ibanez, who joined the Yankees a week after spring training began, is hitting .268 with six homers and 19 RBIs. That followed a slow exhibition season, which caused Girardi to make some inquiries.
"They said it takes him a while to get going in spring training," the manager said. "Sometimes you find that with older players."
Ibanez had faced Hernandez only three times before Friday, saying his most familiar view was seeing Hernandez's back from the outfield.
Hernandez (3-2) allowed 11 hits -- two short of his career high -- and four runs in 6 2/3 innings, his second-shortest outing this season. He struck out seven and walked two, with his ERA rising from 1.89 to 2.29.
King Felix had been 3-0 at new Yankee Stadium. He weakened after Derek Jeter fouled off five pitches during a 10-pitch walk in the fifth, which started a stretch in which seven of Hernandez's last 12 batters reached.