Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/12)

Game 1: Friday, April 11
Texas4Final
Seattle2
Game 2: Saturday, April 12
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Seattle13
Game 3: Sunday, April 13
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in 13
Seattle4

Rangers 4

(4-7, 2-3 away)

Mariners 13

(5-6, 2-3 home)

    10:05 PM ET, April 12, 2003

    Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 200010100 4 7 3
    SEA 60201211 - 13 14 0

    W: G. Meche (1-1)

    L: R. Drese (0-1)

    Meche shuts down Rangers, Cirillo goes 4-for-4

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Gil Meche and Jeff Cirillo had each waited a long time for a breakout performance.

    Meche won for the first time in almost three years and Cirillo went 4-for-4 with two RBI to break a 1-for-28 season-opening slump as the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 13-4 Saturday night.

    ''I had a great time,'' said Meche, who missed the 2001 season after reconstructive shoulder surgery and spent last year in the minors. ''Pitching in Seattle is wonderful. I just wanted to show everyone I could do it and show the fans I'm back.''

    It was a big night for Cirillo, too.

    When he came up with the bases loaded and one out in the first, Cirillo was hitless in his last 16 at-bats. He lined a shot that hit Ryan Drese (0-1) in the foot and bounced into the infield.

    John Olerud scored from third to give the Mariners a 4-2 lead and fans rose to their feet in a rousing cheer as Cirillo reached first.

    ''This is a big game for me,'' Cirillo said. ''I totally abandoned what I'd done all spring, a little toe tap and standing straight up. I squatted down lower. All I wanted to do was get a chance where the ball wasn't on top of me.''

    The Mariners had 14 hits and snapped a three-game losing streak. After scoring three runs in their previous 30 innings, they got six in the first against Drese, who threw 38 pitches and got only one out.

    ''It was a good night for everyone,'' said Bret Boone, who hit a solo home run to right, his first of the season, in the seventh.

    Ichiro Suzuki hit his 17th major league homer and first of the season off Reynaldo Garcia in the third, a two-run shot that just cleared the fence in right after Cirillo walked.

    Meche (1-1) wasn't overpowering but threw well enough for his first major league victory since beating Baltimore 8-3 on June 23, 2000. His season ended later that year when his shoulder problems began.

    ''You go 0-1 and the worst thing you can do is go 0-2,'' said Meche, who lost to the Rangers last week. ''This gives me a big boost of confidence, though I'm really looking forward to seeing these guys leave. They've got some good hitters.''

    Carlos Guillen went 3-for-5 and Ben Davis was 2-for-4. They combined with Cirillo as the bottom third of Seattle's batting order went 9-for-13 with five RBI and four runs scored.

    ''We're solid, one through nine,'' Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. ''When we're swinging the bats solid, you're just as easily going to get beat up by the bottom of our order as anywhere else.''

    The Rangers led 2-0 after Carl Everett was hit by a pitch and Alex Rodriguez drove a 392-foot home run into the center-field bleachers. Fans booed the former Mariners shortstop as he circled the bases.

    Seattle recovered quickly, though, scoring six runs in the bottom of the first. Drese, making his first start of the season, threw eight balls in his first 10 pitches, walking Suzuki and Randy Winn.

    ''I was rushing,'' Drese said. ''I might have been a little anxious. It was my first game of the year, but I'm anxious before every game. It can't get much worse than that, I don't think.''

    Cirillo's slow start was troubling because he was determined not to repeat his struggles from last season. A career .304 hitter and two-time All-Star, he hit .249 in his first season in Seattle.

    He showed no signs of the slump, giving the Mariners an 11-3 lead in the sixth with a two-run single to right.

    ''His attitude has been great,'' Melvin said. ''Hard work pays off.''

    Meche, who spent last season at Double-A San Antonio, went 5 2/3 innings and got a big cheer from fans and a handshake from Melvin as he departed and Giovanni Carrara took over.

    Meche walked four and struck out six, allowing three earned runs on five hits.

    Game notes


    Rodriguez went down after Carrara hit him in the left elbow with a high fastball in the seventh. Rodriguez left as a precaution but was expected to play in the series finale Sunday. ''It's a stinger on the elbow, more on the muscle than the bone,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ... After Drese's rough first inning, Texas starters' ERA jumped to 8.29 (43 earned runs in 46 2/3 innings). ... Rangers outfielder Kevin Mench, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, will play for Double-A Frisco in a three-game series at Tulsa next week and should rejoin the Rangers in Oakland on Friday. ... Third baseman Hank Blalock, who singled in the sixth to break an 0-for-12 skid, had two of Texas' three errors. The Rangers have six this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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