Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Seattle off to 16-4 start

Disputed home run helps Mariners trip Yankees

April 25, 2001


— Thanks to an error followed by a questionable two-run homer, Seattle eked out another close one.

Tom Lampkin hit the disputed shot, and the Mariners scored the first two runs off New York reliever Mike Stanton this season to beat the Yankees, 7-5, Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.

By taking the opener of a three-game series that's a rematch of last year's AL championship series, Seattle improved to 9-3 in games decided by one or two runs and a club-record 16-4 overall.

"We're kind of playing some heart-attack baseball. The games we've played have all been close," Lampkin said. "We're counting on our bench and our bullpen. We really haven't blown a lot of teams out of the water and I don't think we're going to."

With Seattle trailing 5-3 in the seventh inning, Bret Boone reached when third baseman Scott Brosius' throw pulled Tino Martinez off the bag at first, ending a streak in which Yankees starter Roger Clemens retired 11 straight batters.

After Al Martin flied out, Lampkin drove a 3-1 pitch to the left-field corner. Converted second baseman Chuck Knoblauch jumped at the fence trying to make the catch, but the ball hit the heel of his glove, caromed off the top of the wall and, with spectators reaching, dropped to the field.

Third-base umpire Lance Barksdale ruled it a home run, though replays appeared to show the ball should have been in play.

"I had it for a second," Knoblauch said. "Next thing I know the ball is on the warning track. I didn't argue or anything because I didn't know."

It brought back memories of Todd Zeile's drive off the top of the left-field fence at Yankee Stadium last October for the New York Mets in Game 1 of the World Series. Zeile's ball was correctly ruled in play.

"It was not a question of fan interference," crew chief Mark Hirschbeck said. "If (Barksdale) had asked me or any of the guys it would have looked the same to us. It looked like it left the ballpark."

Yankees manager Joe Torre, who briefly argued the call, said, "It had to be a tough call to make. When you watch the replay, sure it's easy to say it wasn't a home run. It was tough to argue from where I was sitting."

With the game tied at 5 and two outs in the top of the eighth, Edgar Martinez lined a double and John Olerud followed with an RBI single off Stanton (1-1), who hadn't been scored on in 11 innings over seven appearances.

Seattle added an insurance run in the ninth off Stanton, whose error allowed Carlos Guillen to score.

Mariners starter Freddy Garcia (3-0) did just enough to extend his recent mastery of the Yankees.

Garcia, who beat New York twice in the ALCS and now is 3-1 with a 3.74 ERA against the Yankees in the regular season, allowed five runs on seven hits over seven innings. But he only struggled in the fourth, when he allowed four runs, and retired the last seven batters he faced.

Clemens pitched seven innings, allowing five runs four earned on five hits. He struck out six batters, one in each of the first six innings.

Orioles 8, Tigers 3

Detroit Jay Gibbons hit two doubles and two singles as Baltimore won consecutive games for the first time this season. Pat Hentgen, a former high school standout in Michigan, pitched seven solid innings and sent the Tigers to their sixth straight loss. Detroit has dropped 11 of 13.

Angels 7, Indians 2

Cleveland Wally Joyner homered and Scott Schoeneweis pitched eight strong innings as Anaheim beat Cleveland and stopped the Indians' six-game winning streak. Joyner, hitting .154, hit a two-run homer in the fourth to give Anaheim a 4-2 lead, and the Angels went on to break a four-game losing streak.

Athletics 6, White Sox 4

Chicago Jason Giambi hit the eighth grand slam of his career and Terrence Long drove in two runs as Oakland beat Chicago With the victory, their fifth in eight games, the Athletics avoided the worst record in team history through 20 games. Five other Oakland teams started 7-13. The loss was the fourth straight for the White Sox, who are eight games behind Minnesota in the AL Central.

Red Sox 9, Twins 4

Boston Carl Everett hit a grand slam and drove in five runs as Boston cooled off Minnesota. The Twins, with baseball's lowest payroll, entered leading the AL Central with baseball's best record at 14-3. A win over Boston, which has the second-highest payroll and leads the AL East, would have given the Twins the best start in the majors since Milwaukee went 17-1 in 1987.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 5

Toronto Raul Mondesi homered and hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning as Toronto beat Texas. Mondesi, who drove in three runs, gave Toronto a 4-3 lead in the fifth with a two-run homer off Doug Davis.

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