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O's sweep M's at home for first time since '97

BALTIMORE (AP) -- In a game that depended heavily on the
performance of two depleted bullpens, the Baltimore Orioles again
got the better of the Seattle Mariners.

Rafael Palmeiro singled in two runs to snap a seventh-inning
tie, and four Baltimore relievers shut down the Mariners in a 6-3
victory Wednesday night.

Brian Roberts had two hits and two RBI for the Orioles, who
completed their first three-game home sweep of the Mariners since
May 1997.

Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli was operating without left-handed
setup man B.J. Ryan, unavailable after pitching in both ends of a
doubleheader Tuesday. So Mazzilli dug deep into his bullpen -- and
got the desired results.

Buddy Groom, Todd Williams, Jason Grimsley, and Jorge Julio
combined for 3 1-3 scoreless innings, dooming Seattle to its sixth
straight loss.

"You have one of your main guys out, and the guys that were
available really stepped up," Mazzilli said.

Seattle manager Bob Melvin, on the other hand, lamented another
shoddy effort by his own bullpen. Shigetoshi Hasegawa (4-4) allowed
three runs, and Mariners relievers are 1-6 with a 7.06 ERA during a
disastrous road trip in which Seattle is 1-9.

"The bullpen has been a concern for a while," Melvin said.

The Orioles scored three runs on one hit in the seventh to take
a 6-3 lead. Roberts drew a leadoff walk from Hasegawa and took
second on a sacrifice before Melvin Mora walked and Miguel Tejada
reached on an error by third baseman Willie Bloomquist, who was
trying too quickly to turn a double play.

"I planned to catch the ball, go to third, then back to
first," Bloomquist said. "But you have to catch the ball first."

After Palmeiro greeted Mike Myers with a single down the
right-field line, Tejada scored on a wild pitch.

"We haven't been doing the job," Myers said. "We have to get
the first guy we face out when we come in there. We did not do that
tonight."

Randy Winn homered and Ichiro Suzuki had three hits for Seattle,
which lost the season series to Baltimore 7-2.

About the only positive for the Mariners was that they ended
their major league-tying run of 26 straight games in which they
yielded a home run. Seattle had given up a homer in every game
since July 4.

After being blanked on three hits over the first five innings by
rookie Daniel Cabrera, Seattle pulled even with a three-run sixth.
Suzuki hit a leadoff triple and Winn followed with his ninth homer,
the first since July 11.

Cabrera was pulled after walking Miguel Olivo with two outs and
the bases loaded, and Groom snared Bloomquist's liner up the
middle.

"It was strictly a reaction. I stuck my glove up, and it
happened to go in it," Groom said.

Williams (1-0) got the last two outs in the seventh, Grimsley
worked a perfect eighth and Julio got three outs for his 17th save.

The game was scoreless until the second inning, which was
interrupted by a 57-minute rain delay. Immediately after play
resumed, Mariners shortstop Jose Lopez fielded a two-out grounder
in the hole and threw the wet ball wildly to first, allowing Javy
Lopez to score from second with an unearned run.

Seattle starter Gil Meche retired the first batters in the
fourth before the Orioles loaded the bases for Roberts, who
grounded a two-run single into left for a 3-0 lead. It was the
perfect scenario for Roberts, now 12-for-26 with 39 RBI in his
career with the bases filled.

Meche allowed three runs, two earned, and nine hits in six
innings.

Game notes
Suzuki had his run of six straight hits end with a
first-inning strikeout. ... Grimsley has nine straight scoreless
outings since the All-Star break. ... Seattle shared the record of
allowing homers in 26 straight games with Houston, which did it in
2001, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.