Orioles 9, Mariners 7; Orioles 5, Mariners 4
Scrawled on the outside of the sock was the number of hits he has in the majors, 2,874, one more than Babe Ruth.
Palmeiro passed Ruth on the career hits list, and the Orioles beat Seattle 5-4 Tuesday night to complete the first doubleheader sweep against the Mariners in 16 years.
In the opener, Palmeiro drove in three runs and Javy Lopez hit a three-run homer, leading Baltimore to a 9-7 victory.
After going 2-for-3 in the day game to tie Ruth for 36th place, Palmeiro moved past the Bambino in the night game with a fourth-inning single to right off Jamie Moyer. It was Palmeiro’s lone hit of the game, but it’s one he will never forget.
“It won’t sink in until I can really sit back and understand what I’ve done,” Palmeiro said. “I mean it’s Babe Ruth. In a lot of people’s eyes, he was the greatest hitter of all time. I’m nowhere close to that, but at least for one day, I can say I have one more hit than Babe.”
“Maybe we can get back on the positive track,” Palmeiro said.
In the second game, a double-error by Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada let in the tying run in the eighth inning. But Tejada hit a leadoff double in the bottom half against George Sherrill (0-1), took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Jerry Hairston.
“Even if I didn’t make an error, I was ready to get on base anyway,” Tejada said. “I don’t think I hit the double just because I made the error.”
Seattle, which stranded 11 runners in the first game and 14 in the second, has lost five straight and eight of nine.
“We had some opportunities to blow the games wide open,” Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re just leaving too many guys on. We’re swinging the bat a lot better but we’re not getting that big hit when we need it.”
Despite totaling 31 hits, including 16 in the opener, the Mariners were swept in a doubleheader for the first time since Aug. 24, 1988, also at Baltimore.
“We are all to blame. I’m as frustrated as everybody else is,” second baseman Bret Boone said.
After Bigbie connected in the third to put Baltimore up 4-2, the Mariners got a run in the fourth when Leone doubled and scored on a single by Bloomquist.
In the eighth, Tejada misplayed a grounder and then kicked it after he chased it down, allowing Bloomquist to score from second with the tying run. But he soon redeemed himself.
“To come back and hit that double, that’s the sign of a great player,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said.
Jorge Julio (2-2), the sixth Baltimore pitcher, got the final four outs, striking out the side in the ninth.
Moyer gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings and is winless in nine starts since June 18.
The first game was a seesaw affair in which Orioles starter Sidney Ponson blew leads of 3-2, 6-4 and 7-5.
After Seattle scored twice in the seventh to make it 7-all, Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. 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 Mike Myers.
Edgar Martinez homered and Ichiro Suzuki went 5-for-5 for the Mariners. Suzuki’s five hits matched a career high, set just five days earlier in Anaheim. He did not start the nightcap because of flu-like symptoms, but entered as a pinch runner in the seventh and finished the game.
Mora has hit safely in 13 of 17 games since being activated from the disabled list on July 18. … Baltimore is 6-2 against the Mariners this season. … Suzuki is 8-for-12 lifetime against Ponson.