Hernandez has grand slam, seven RBI in Orioles' win

SEATTLE (AP) -- Ramon Hernandez is paying off handsomely for the
Baltimore Orioles.

Hernandez, signed to a $27.5 million, four-year contract last
winter, hit a three-run homer and a grand slam Tuesday night -- the
latter in a nine-run ninth inning that finished off the Seattle
Mariners in a 14-4 victory.

Hernandez matched his career high with seven RBI, accomplished
twice before, in leading the Orioles to their second win in 10 road
games. It was his fourth career two-homer game. Corey Patterson
reached safely six times while homering and doubling twice, ending
Seattle's season-high four-game winning streak.

Hernandez, a career .262 hitter in seven previous seasons with
San Diego and Oakland, is batting .316 with 36 RBI in his first 42
games with the Orioles.

The catcher is apparently so dedicated to his new team, he was
away lifting weights 45 minutes after the game after all of his
teammates had changed and filed out of the clubhouse for the night.

"Ramon's been outstanding all year long," Baltimore manager
Sam Perlozzo said. "He really has been great -- on both sides of
the field."

Hernandez hit a three-run shot over the Orioles' bullpen bench
far beyond left field in the first off starter Joel Pineiro.
Hernandez's grand slam off Jake Woods capped Baltimore's big ninth.

It was Hernandez's fourth career slam and first since Sept. 27,
2005, with the Padres against San Francisco. He had seven RBI in
that game and on Aug. 9, 2003, with the Athletics at the Chicago
White Sox.

Patterson's two doubles and a long home run in the fifth inning
all came off Pineiro (4-5), who allowed 10 hits and five earned
runs in another poor outing. Pineiro has allowed at least five
earned runs in each of his last three starts and five times

Patterson is hitting .344 (33-for-96) since going 1-for-15 to
begin the season.

Pineiro said it was obvious during Baltimore's four-run first
inning that he had no life on his fastball, so Patterson, Hernandez
and friends attacked his off-speed pitches.

"I let my team and myself down, after the way we've been
playing," Pineiro said.

Orioles emergency starter John Halama didn't. The 34-year-old
lefty, filling in after rookie Hayden Penn had an appendectomy
Monday night, allowed four hits and two runs over five innings in
his first start since Sept. 7. Halama (3-1), a former Mariner,
earned his first win as a starter since Oct. 3, 2004, with Tampa
Bay at Detroit.

He hadn't thrown more than 50 pitches in any game this season
before firing 67 effective ones at his former team.

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you I wasn't tired. It
caught up to me," Halama said. "I didn't want to jeopardize the

Before the game, Perlozzo said Adam Loewen, who made a brief
major league debut Tuesday after being called up from Double-A
Bowie, was the likely starter on Sunday at the Los Angeles Angels.
But that was before Halama's crafty work.

"I don't know. We're going to have to discuss that," Perlozzo
said after the game.

Loewen, who arrived from a game in Altoona, Pa., eight hours
before Tuesday's first pitch, relieved Halama to begin the sixth.
His first major league pitch skidded to the backstop. But he
rallied to freeze cleanup batter Richie Sexson as strike three
crossed the inside corner.

But then Loewen walked Carl Everett and hit Adrian Beltre with a
pitch. Kenji Johjima followed with a single that pulled Seattle to

LaTroy Hawkins entered in the eighth and gave up an RBI triple
to Adrian Beltre that made it 5-4. But Johjima and pinch-hitter
Roberto Petagine popped out before Chris Ray fanned pinch-hitter
Jeremy Reed to end the threat.

"That last at-bat is something I'm regretting right now,"
Johjima said through a translator.

Baltimore then scored nine times off J.J. Putz and Woods. Rookie
Nick Markakis had his third hit and second RBI, a run-scoring
double. Kevin Millar, Brandon Fahey and Javy Lopez had RBI singles.
Then came Hernandez's grand ending.

Ray got four outs for his 11th save in 11 chances. He laughed
and said he's never had a 10-run save.

Game notes
Orioles RF Jay Gibbons missed the game after the death of
his mother in Southern California on Tuesday morning. The team is
not sure whether Gibbons will go on the bereavement list. Perlozzo
said Gibbons told him late Tuesday afternoon he will try to play
Wednesday. ... Suzuki had two hits to extend his hitting streak to
17 games, longest in the AL this season.