Orioles 6, Mariners 3

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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 RBIs 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 RBIs in his career with the bases filled.

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


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.

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