Baltimore (49-40) at Seattle (39-50)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Seattle, WA
Temp: 50° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 16, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With one of baseball’s most impressive milestones behind him, Rafael Palmeiro can focus on what he’s really chasing after this season: a postseason spot for the Baltimore Orioles.

After becoming just the fourth player in major league history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 homers, Palmeiro will lead the Orioles into the third game of their weekend series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Palmeiro, who got hit No. 2,999 in Thursday’s series-opening 5-3 win, went hitless in his first two at-bats Friday before belting an opposite-field RBI double in the fifth inning of Baltimore’s 6-3 victory.

Palmeiro also has 566 home runs over his 20-year career, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players in the 3,000-500 club.

Palmeiro tied Roberto Clemente for 25th place on the all-time list, both with 3,000 hits, and then passed him with a sixth-inning single.

He was cheered each time he batted, and flashbulbs popped on every pitch. Teammates rushed onto the field from the dugout and bullpen after the milestone hit, and Palmeiro received a lengthy standing ovation from the Safeco Field crowd.

But the future Hall of Famer has said all along that his main goal this year is to help the Orioles reach the playoffs for the first time since 1997—the last time they won the AL East. A week ago, someone asked him if he would trade his membership in the 3,000-500 club for a World Series ring.

“I don’t have either one of them, so I don’t know which feels better,” Palmeiro replied. “Maybe I’ll have both after this year.”

He added to those sentiments Friday night.

“It was emotional,” he said. “I figured I was going to get to 3,000 hits one day, but I wanted to focus on winning.”

Baltimore remained within one game of first-place Boston in the AL East with its fourth straight victory, improving to 2-0 on its 10-game road trip. The Orioles are 5-0 against the Mariners this year.

Richie Sexson homered for Seattle, which entered the All-Star break off a four-game sweep of the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels.

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13-10 Record 13-7
3.83 ERA 4.28
133 K 102
63 BB 52
1.27 WHIP 1.39