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Mariners finish May with 19-8 record

5/31/2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Division leaders Seattle and Minnesota each
had a great May. But the Mariners finished theirs on a better note.

Edgar Martinez and Ichiro Suzuki hit solo home runs and Ryan
Franklin became the latest Mariners pitcher to frustrate the Twins
as Seattle beat Minnesota 5-2 Saturday for its fifth straight
victory.

The Mariners beat Minnesota for the third straight day. They'll
go for a four-game sweep at the Metrodome on Sunday when Freddy
Garcia pitches against Kenny Rogers.

The Mariners went 19-8 in May and remained five games ahead of
Oakland in the AL West.

"We'll take 19 wins in any month," manager Bob Melvin said
with a chuckle.

The Twins also finished with 19 wins, but they've lost three
straight for the first time since losing six in a row to the New
York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals in April. Minnesota failed
to extend its 3½ game lead over Kansas City in the AL Central.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire thought his team played well, but,
"(the Mariners) are getting the hits when they need them and
they're pitching pretty good. We seem to be hitting a lot of hard
balls at people."

Franklin (4-3) gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings.
He held the Twins to a single run through six innings before Dustan
Mohr's homer in the seventh.

"I'm happy with the way I battled and kept it to one run. It
could have been a lot worse," he said.

Kazuhiro Sasaki pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 13
chances.

Suzuki homered, tripled, singled and scored twice as the
Mariners won for the 12th time in 15 games. Suzuki had 44 hits in
May.

"He's so consistent,'' Martinez said. "We knew he's going to
come through. ... I think he's going to keep doing better."

Said Melvin: "He's not swinging that differently. He's just now
getting results. Success breeds confidence. ... I don't see a whole
lot different in what he's doing."

Martinez's home run came in the fifth inning off Rick Reed (3-6)
and made it 4-0. Suzuki homered in the seventh for a 5-1 lead.

Reed, who entered the game with a 1.82 career ERA against
Seattle, allowed nine hits and five earned runs over seven innings.

"I got my ground balls, they just found holes," Reed said.

"I didn't think I threw all that bad, I just had some pitches
up and they hit them in good spots."

Mohr, batting .396 this month, went 2-for-3 with a solo homer in
the seventh for the Twins. He extended his hitting streak to a
career-high 12 games.

But the last three losses to Seattle have made the personal
accomplishments less enjoyable for Mohr, who had 42 hits this
month. Gil Meche held the Twins in check on Thursday night and Joel
Pineiro shut them out Friday.

"We've been hitting a lot of balls hard, they've just been
right at people," Mohr said. "They're swinging hot bats right now
and pitching really well and it's tough to beat the combination and
we haven't had very many opportunities to get things going."

Seattle went up 2-0 with two outs in the fourth. Randy Winn
singled home a run and Jeff Cirillo followed with an RBI single
that barely eluded third baseman Corey Koskie's grasp.

The Mariners added a pair of runs in the fifth after Suzuki led
off with a triple to left-center field. Bret Boone had an RBI
grounder and Martinez hit his 13th home run.

The Twins opened the fifth with singles by Torii Hunter, Doug
Mientkiewicz and Mohr, making it 4-1.

Tom Prince laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Mientkiewicz
and Mohr, but Chris Gomez grounded out and Jacque Jones popped out.

Jones threw down his bat and helmet in disgust after the play.

The Twins will lose their first series since losing two out of
three to the Chicago White Sox last month.

"We've got to come back tomorrow and try to find a way to
win," Gardenhire said.

Game notes
Longtime public-address announcer Bob Casey and former
outfielder Bob Allison were inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame
before the game. Allison, who died in 1995, and Casey became the
Hall's 11th and 12th members. ... The Mariners recalled C Pat
Borders from Triple-A Tacoma. Borders fills the roster spot left by
OF John Mabry (shoulder), who was placed on the 15-day DL on
Friday. ... Suzuki came into the game 3-for-14 against Reed. He
went 3-for-4 against him Saturday. He was a double away from the
Mariners' first cycle since John Olerud on June 16, 2001.

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