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Wilson's three-run homer in seventh lifts M's

9/7/2001

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Seattle's jaw-dropping record may have the rest
of baseball in awe.

It's no big deal to the Mariners.

Dan Wilson hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh
inning as the Mariners moved 50 games over .500 with an 8-5 win
Saturday over the Cleveland Indians.

"We don't go for records, anything like that," said Wilson,
Seattle's catcher and No. 9 hitter. "What motivates us is the next
game. There's no talk of, `Look where we're at', or anything."

Wilson's homer -- Seattle's first in 226 at-bats -- off Danys Baez
(2-1) snapped a 3-3 tie as the Mariners won their fourth straight
to improve to a preposterous 80-30.

Last season, Seattle didn't get its 80th victory until Sept. 13.
The Mariners also won their 44th road game, matching their total
from all last season.

Bret Boone hit a two-run homer, his career-high 25th, in the
eighth for the Mariners, who have won eight of nine and are 17-6
since the All-Star break.

Ichiro Suzuki had three hits for Seattle, which won despite
stranding a season-high 13 runners.

"I think everyone in the room is aware this is a special
season," reliever Norm Charlton said. "It's because nobody is
selfish. It's pick your poison.

"The whole lineup will get a key hit. Today, it was the ninth
guy that won the game. Every game it's somebody."

Tied 3-3, Carlos Guillen walked to open the seventh and Baez hit
Mike Cameron with a 2-2 pitch. One out later, Wilson hit his
seventh homer into the seats in left-center.

It was Seattle's first homer since Boone connected on July 27
against Minnesota.

"I had no idea," Wilson said. "We don't rely on homers
anyway, but try to do what we need. It's a different guy every day.
This was my turn."

Freddy Garcia (13-3) allowed three runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3
innings and won for the seventh time in nine decisions. He walked
none and struck out a season-high eight.

Arthur Rhodes got the final out for his third save.

Robert Alomar had four hits, and Travis Fryman homered for
Cleveland, which has lost six of seven.

The Indians, who came in trailing first-place Minnesota by
one-half game in the AL Central, are 1-4 in a seven-game homestand
against Oakland and Seattle.

They've been outscored 43-18 in the five games, and Alomar said
it's tough to get things turned around against Seattle.

"If you don't play almost perfect baseball, they're going to
beat you," he said. "It's frustrating right now. The only good
thing right now is that they (Twins) are losing, too."

Juan Gonzalez missed his sixth straight game for Cleveland with
a strained left hamstring. Gonzalez has been taking batting
practice everyday, but says he's unable to play.

Indians manager Charlie Manuel insisted that Gonzalez was not an
option to pinch-hit in the eighth inning during Friday night's 2-1
loss.

However, it appeared Manuel was searching for Gonzalez in the
dugout and down the tunnel before sending Jolbert Cabrera to the
plate following a lengthy delay.

Gonzalez, who signed a one-year deal with a mutual option this
winter, was criticized last season in Detroit for not playing with
seemingly minor injuries.

"It's feeling better," Gonzalez said. "Maybe I'll play
tomorrow."

The Mariners stranded six runners through the first three
innings before scoring three runs in the fourth off Steve Woodard
on Suzuki's RBI single and Mark McLemore's two-run hit.

Travis Fryman's RBI groundout tied it 3-3 in the sixth.

Game notes
Seattle has won 22 straight when scoring four or more runs.
... Suzuki needs one hit to tie Alvin Davis' 1984 club rookie
record of 161. ... Alomar raised his league-leading average to
.356. ... Mariners starters have pitched into the sixth inning in
13 straight games. ... Boone hit 24 homers in 1998 for Cincinnati.
... To accommodate the huge contingent of Japanese photographers
covering Suzuki and Kazuhiro Sasaki, the Indians added a 30-foot
photo pit down the third-base line.