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Mariners snap six-game losing streak vs. A's

9/15/2002

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- If nothing else, the Seattle Mariners
would like to spoil the fun for some team that is headed to the
playoffs.

While Seattle still has slim postseason hopes after a 6-3 win
over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, nobody in the Mariners'
clubhouse is counting on it. Especially with the way Anaheim and
the A's are playing.

"Let's just go home and ... see what happens,'' Bret Boone
said. "Just because we're losing right now doesn't mean we're
rolling over and giving up.''

Oakland dropped a game behind first-place Anaheim in the AL West
after the Angels beat Texas.

Boone and Edgar Martinez each drove in two runs as the Mariners
finally found some offense to end a six-game losing streak.

Martinez hit a two-run homer, Mike Cameron added a solo shot and
Boone had three hits as Seattle snapped a 21-inning scoreless
drought and stopped Oakland's 12-game home winning streak.

The Mariners say they don't even have to discuss playing for
pride, that's just a given for the defending AL West champions.

"It's good to win again,'' Cameron said. "We lost a lot of
games and that kind of made it rough, but guys are still grinding.
Hopefully we'll reel off about 14 more. We've been through a lot
this year. There's been a lot of down time. Now is not the time to
shut it down.

"Until somebody tells me we're done, I'm going to keep on
grinding.''

The A's won the first two games of the series with dominating
pitching, but they didn't get it Sunday.

Eric Chavez hit his career-high 33rd home run for Oakland, which
dropped a half-game behind first-place Anaheim in the AL West. The
Angels played a night game against Texas.

After a rough first inning, Seattle starter Joel Pineiro (14-6)
settled down to retire 10 of his next 11 batters before giving up a
solo homer to John Mabry in the fifth that tied it at 3.

Pineiro allowed three runs and five hits in six innings,
striking out seven. Kazuhiro Sasaki pitched the ninth for his 35th
save in 41 opportunities.

"He has established himself as a bona-fide, front-line major
league pitcher,'' Mariners manager Lou Piniella said of the
23-year-old Pineiro.

The right-hander said he felt obligated to do something to send
the Mariners back to Seattle with at least one win. They were swept
in four games against Texas for the first time in 10 years.

Jamie Moyer lost Saturday despite allowing only three hits and
not giving up an earned run.

The Mariners' six-game losing streak was their longest since
dropping eight in a row Aug. 12-20, 2000. The defending AL West
champions still have slim postseason hopes. Seattle moved within
eight games of Oakland in the wild-card race.

Ichiro Suzuki singled to snap an 0-for-13 slump. Until Boone's
single in the third, the second baseman was hitless in 12 at-bats.

He and Martinez were 0-for-13 in the series entering Sunday's
finale after the A's got back-to-back shutouts for the fifth time
this year behind the superb pitching of Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.

The Mariners broke a 3-all tie in the sixth on an error by
second baseman Ray Durham, who dropped the throw to first on Jeff
Cirillo's sacrifice bunt. The ball rolled up the first-base line,
allowing Carlos Guillen to score from third.

Suzuki then singled and Cameron hit into a fielder's choice.
Boone followed with a line-drive single to center that scored
Cirillo and Suzuki to make it 6-3.

Oakland right-hander Aaron Harang (5-4) lost in his first
appearance in the majors since Aug. 25. Harang, recalled Sept. 4
from Triple-A Sacramento, gave up a run on two hits in two innings
after relieving starter Ted Lilly in the fourth.

Lilly was taken out of the game because he had a blister on a
finger on his throwing hand, manager Art Howe said.

"If not, he could have kept going,'' Howe said. "Aaron pitched
well for us. They have a good lineup, and I didn't think we'd get a
repeat like the last two days.''

Cameron homered to right in the first inning on a 3-2 pitch from
Lilly for Seattle's first run since Seattle scored against Texas in
the sixth inning Thursday. Martinez hit his two-run homer into the
bleachers in left-center for a 3-2 lead in the third.

Martinez's shot also came off Lilly, who is auditioning for a
postseason roster spot as the second left-hander out of the
bullpen. Lilly, who is competing with Micah Bowie for the spot, was
tagged for three runs on four hits in three innings. He struck out
five and walked two.

Chavez homered in the first for Oakland, a curving two-run shot
to right that bounced off the screen of the foul pole.

Game notes
Seattle had 10 hits, four more than the Mariners managed in
the first two games of the series. ... There were four Yankees
scouts at the game. ... Martinez drew three walks, one intentional.
... The Mariners have never been shut out in three consecutive
games.