BALTIMORE (AP) -- Rafael Palmeiro worked his way past the pack of
reporters positioned at his locker, grabbed a chair and plopped
"I'm going to sit for this one," he said. "I feel every bit
of 39 years old right now."
It's tough work, chasing down the great ones.
Palmeiro went 2-for-3 with two walks and has 2,873 hits, tied
for 36th place. Earlier this season, he passed Mickey Mantle to
move into 11th on the home run list.
"You stay around for 20 years and stay healthy and are
productive a little bit, you'll be able to do some things,"
Matching the Bambino proved to be a humbling -- and surprising --
"I didn't realize that until I saw it on the board," Palmeiro
said. "That's not even right, but it is. It happened."
Javy Lopez hit a three-run homer and Larry Bigbie drove in the
tiebreaking run in the seventh inning for the Orioles, who stopped
a three-game skid. For Palmeiro, that was more significant than
reaching another milestone.
"We're trying to win some games," he said. "It's important
and it's a big thing, but at this point, it's just a hit."
After Seattle scored twice in the seventh to draw even,
Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. Jerry Hairston
singled off Clint Nageotte (1-5) and scored when Bigbie snapped a
2-for-20 slump with a two-out, opposite-field double to left off
Jason Grimsley (4-5) struck out the side in the seventh after
replacing starter Sidney Ponson, B.J. Ryan worked out of a
bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Jorge Julio got three outs for
his 16th save.
Seattle lost its fourth straight despite getting 16 hits.
"We swung the bats pretty well again, but we're into this thing
where having a little trouble holding them down when we swing the
bats well," manager Bob Melvin said.
Suzuki, who has been ailing of late, was not slated to start the
"It's not that I'm sick, it's that it's a little hot out
there," he said. "Skipper gave me a night off."
Making his fifth start of the year for Seattle, Ron Villone
didn't make it out of the fourth inning. The left-hander gave up
seven runs, five hits and five walks and was lifted after throwing
The ineffective outing lifted his ERA from 2.88 to 3.58, but
Villone averted the loss when the Mariners rallied against Ponson,
who gave up leads of 3-2, 6-4 and 7-5.
Seattle made it 7-all in the seventh when Bret Boone hit a
leadoff single and Martinez followed with his eighth homer, a shot
to center that traveled an estimated 430 feet. Raul Ibanez then got
his third hit to chase Ponson, who was vying to win his fourth
The right-hander yielded seven runs, 13 hits and two walks in
"They give you seven runs, you should win ball games like
that," Ponson said. "I didn't do my job today."
The Mariners went up 2-0 in the first inning, the 10th straight
game in which they scored first, but the Orioles scored three runs
in their half, the last two on a two-out single by Palmeiro.
In the third, Martinez bounced into a double-play, scoring a
run, and Ibanez hit an RBI single for a 4-3 lead.
Lopez put Baltimore back in front in the bottom half, hitting a
3-2 pitch deep into the left field seats. It was his 16th homer,
the fourth in six games.
"I made some good pitches to Javy early on, and all of a sudden
I threw one down the middle and he hit a home run," Villone said.
Baltimore's Melvin Mora has hit safely in 12 of 16 games
since being activated from the disabled list on July 18. ... Suzuki
is 8-for-12 against Ponson and has a lifetime .384 average against