SEATTLE (AP)—Mike Cameron is tired of letting Safeco Field psyche him out.
“I’ve beat myself up about it for three years,” a smiling Cameron said. “It’s not something I’m going to try to continue to let have a mental edge on me.”
John Olerud walked to load the bases, and Cameron followed with his fourth career slam, a drive into the Cleveland bullpen in left field for his second homer of the season.
Cameron, one of the top defensive outfielders in baseball, hit his first homer at Safeco this season. He stepped to the plate batting .200 (7-for-35) at home. He hit .218 and had only seven of his 25 homers at Safeco last season.
Cameron said he’s tired of thinking negatively when he’s batting in Seattle.
“It is tough” to hit here, he said. “But I’m going to try to overcome that thing and put myself in a position to really help this team out in a big way.”
First-year Mariners manager Bob Melvin thought about using a pinch-runner for Martinez after he walked in the seventh.
“I’m sure glad I didn’t now,” Melvin said.
Boone said the Mariners, a team that tied the major league record with 116 victories in 2001, were thinking positively even when they fell behind 5-3.
“We knew we had a chance,” he said. “We knew we weren’t done yet.”
Pinch-hitter Bill Selby hit a two-run single off Carrara to give Cleveland a 5-3 lead. Sasaki blew his fourth save in eight chances this season and third in five games.
In the ninth, Milton Bradley singled and Sasaki walked Karim Garcia with one out before Burks singled to score Bradley from second. After getting Matt Lawton to pop out, Sasaki left because of tightness in his lower back.
“We have to see where his health is,” Melvin said. “There is tightness. We don’t know what it is for sure.”
Sasaki will be the Mariners’ closer when he gets back, though.
“That’s the way our bullpen sets up,” Melvin said. “Our bullpen sets up to get to him and he is our closer. That’s one of the strengths of our team.”
Carrara walked Josh Bard, loading the bases for Selby.
It was a tough loss for the young Indians, but rookie manager Eric Wedge tried to look on the bright side of his team’s performance.
“I’m proud of the way we came back,” he said. “We were playing a good club and we fought hard. But they took it right back from us. We’re slowly moving in the right direction.”
Dan Wilson followed with a three-run double over Garcia’s head in right.
Freddy Garcia, winless since April 6, limited the Indians to one run on seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.
The Indians got a home run from rookie Travis Hafner to open the fifth, his third of the season.
Pinch-hitter Shane Spencer singled in Bard from second for Cleveland’s second run in the eighth, the first run off Shigetoshi Hasegawa this season. Bard’s double came off Hasegawa, and Spencer’s hit came against Arthur Rhodes.
In the seventh, Hasegawa, who replaced Garcia with two on, got Burks to line out to second with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Sabathia, making his fifth start of the season, went five innings and gave up three runs on eight hits. A 13-game winner last season, Sabathia hasn’t won since last Sept. 27.
A season low crowd of 25,231 watched the Mariners open a six-game homestand. It was the third-smallest crowd in the history of Safeco Field, which openedJuly 15, 1999.
Cameron’s slam was his first since last May 16 in Toronto. … It was the sixth game-winning grand slam in Mariners history. The last came Aug. 26, 1996, by Mark Whiten against Baltimore. … Sasaki has a 9.00 ERA in nine innings and 10 games this season. He has 119 saves in three seasons in Seattle, including 37 last season. … Hasegawa has allowed one run in 11 games and 142-3 innings this season.