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Tejada's tear continues as O's slip past M's

BALTIMORE (AP) -- On a night in which Miguel Tejada set a team
record for hits in April, the Baltimore Orioles shortstop received
an injury that could jeopardize a far more impressive
accomplishment.

Tejada hyperextended his left knee while chasing down a foul
ball in fifth inning of the Baltimore's 5-2 victory over the
Seattle Mariners on Friday night. He remained in the game long
enough to hit his sixth home run (giving him 41 hits for the
month), then left in the eighth.

If the injury keeps Tejada sidelined Saturday, his streak of
playing in 942 consecutive games -- the seventh-longest run in major
league history -- will be over.

"I'll listen to the trainer. They know everything about
injuries," Tejada said. "I'll wait until tomorrow to see how I
feel."

Orioles trainer Richie Bancells said it was too early to
determine if the injury would keep Tejada in the dugout.

The injury occurred when Tejada was running down a foul ball hit
by Carl Everett.

"All of a sudden I feel my leg going straight. That's why I
went down," Tejada said. "At first, I was really scared. I was
thinking it was my whole leg. Then, after I get up, I felt like I
could keep playing."

After hitting his sixth homer in the seventh inning, he was
replaced in the top of the eighth by Chris Gomez.

Tejada insisted that his consecutive games streak is not
important to him.

"I love playing baseball. I'm not going to worry about the
streak," he said.

But Tejada still hopes to play Saturday.

"If I don't have anything broke I'm going to be in the
lineup," he said. "I'm hoping I'll be able to play 100 percent.
I'm going to try. I want to keep playing."

The Orioles want him in the lineup, too. He leads the AL with a
.432 batting average after going 2-for-4 Friday to extend his
hitting streak to 13 games.

"We'll wait and see how it reacts in the morning," Baltimore
manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He's a pretty tough kid."

Daniel Cabrera pitched seven innings of four-hit ball and Corey
Patterson homered to lead the Orioles to their second straight win
following a four-game skid.

Patterson had his second straight three-hit game. In his past
two starts, he's raised his batting average from .156 to .275.

Cabrera (2-2) struck out six and walked one. The right-hander is
4-0 with a 2.62 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners.

"Tonight he was really good," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove
said. "He can get wild and throw a lot of balls. We tried to let
him do that, but he didn't."

LaTroy Hawkins worked the eighth and Chris Ray pitched a perfect
ninth for his seventh save in as many chances.

Jose Lopez homered for the Mariners. Seattle is 0-4 in Baltimore
over the past two seasons under Hargrove, who managed the Orioles
from 2000-03.

Mariners starter Gil Meche (1-2) allowed four runs, two earned,
and eight hits in five-plus innings. He came in 4-0 in nine career
starts against the Orioles.

After Lopez homered in the sixth to knot the score at 2,
Baltimore answered with two runs in the bottom half. Meche hit
Kevin Millar with a pitch, and singles by Patterson and Jeff Conine
loaded the bases with no outs. George Sherrill came in and struck
out Nick Markakis before Brian Roberts hit a sacrifice fly.

Patterson then scored on a passed ball by Kenji Johjima.

"The most important inning in any game you're playing is the
inning after you score," Hargrove said. "It's an important inning
to shut them down. We didn't do that, and tonight it cost us the
ball game."

Tejada homered in the seventh on a 3-2 pitch from Julio Mateo.

Baltimore went up 1-0 with an unearned run in the first inning.
Tejada hit a two-out single and scored when Seattle center fielder
Jeremy Reed let a blooper by Jay Gibbons get past him.

Patterson hit an opposite-field homer off the left-field foul
pole leading off the second.

Seattle managed only two singles over the first five innings,
both by Adrian Beltre, before tying it in the sixth on Lopez's
homer -- the first allowed by Cabrera this season.

Game notes
Left-handed batters are 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts
against Sherrill. ... Beltre stole his seventh base in the seventh
inning. He had three last season. ... Baltimore has yielded 29
homers in its last 18 games.