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Orioles miss chance to move into tie for first place

SEATTLE (AP) -- Rookie Mike Morse peppers his manager and
teammates with questions, trying to soak up as much knowledge as
possible.

And every now and then, he sure shines for the Seattle Mariners.

Morse lined a game-winning RBI single to right field after
reliever Chris Ray's throwing error put a runner on third base,
giving the Mariners a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on
Saturday night.

"This is a first for me," said Morse, who is hitting .345
since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma on May 31. "It was
awesome, especially to do it at this level and to see the guys run
out and congratulate you."

Adrian Beltre led off the ninth with a single to right off Ray
(0-1), and Willie Bloomquist hit a dribbler that Ray fielded and
threw way over the head of first baseman Rafael Palmeiro.

Given another chance, Ray would have handled things differently.

"I would probably have faked to first and held on to that
ball," he said. "I just thought I could get him at that point. I
made a bad throw. I was a little off balance when I made the
throw."

The ball sailed into the stands, but Bloomquist was awarded a
single. Ray was charged with an error that put Beltre at third and
Bloomquist on second for Morse, who sent an 0-2 pitch into right
field.

"No outs right there. Everybody dreams of getting the big hit
and winning the game," Morse said. "The more games you win like
that, I guess the respect comes, but I'm nowhere near that yet."

Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said Morse has an inquisitive
mind, asking a lot of questions before he hits.

"He'll ask me before an at-bat about how the pitcher is
throwing," Hargrove said. "A lot of times, what he thinks is
right on the mark. He asks a lot of good questions. It's a good way
to learn."

Bloomquist's at-bat was just as important. After two
unsuccessful bunt attempts for two strikes, he accomplished exactly
what he'd hoped on a swing that chopped the ball onto the infield
grass.

"That was a terrible job of executing the bunt on my part, but
sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Bloomquist said. "I
couldn't have rolled it any better if I was trying to bunt it."

One night after a two-hit performance that included his 3,000th
career hit, Palmeiro singled twice in four at-bats to boost his
total to 3,003. He's four hits from tying Al Kaline (3,007) for No.
24 on the all-time list.

The Orioles missed a chance to move into a tie with Boston for
first place in the AL East after the New York Yankees beat the Red
Sox 7-4 earlier Saturday.

J.J. Putz (2-3) got the win after relieving Jamie Moyer in the
ninth. Moyer, who earned his 200th career victory in his previous
start on July 8, pitched eight strong innings in a duel with
Baltimore's Bruce Chen.

Moyer allowed two runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts and one
walk. Chen worked 7 2-3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with
five strikeouts and one walk.

Baltimore tied it at 2 in the fourth, with Surhoff hitting a
sacrifice fly and Bigbie recording a run-scoring groundout.

Richie Sexson hit a solo home run in the first to put the
Mariners up 2-0, just after Raul Ibanez's sacrifice fly.

Game notes
In his last six games, Palmeiro is 10-for-21 with three
homers. ... The fans booed when Chen hit Suzuki with a pitch in the
fifth. ... By working the first inning, Moyer passed Randy Johnson
to become Seattle's franchise leader in innings pitched. He's now
at 1,846 1-3 innings. ... The Orioles have collected at least 10
hits in 45 of their 90 games. ... Bloomquist's ninth-inning single
extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games. ... Baltimore
was 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position.