Sun, Jul 20, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Suzuki wins game in grand style


Arizona Diamondbacks starter Miguel Batista pitches in the third ining against the San Diego Padres, Friday. Batista allowed no runs and only one hit through four innings.


American League

The Seattle Mariners just needed a hit. Instead of slapping a single somewhere, Ichiro Suzuki pulled out his power stroke.

Suzuki hit a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning off All-Star closer Mike MacDougal, sending Seattle to a 6-3 victory over the host Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

"That's a big win right there. We got some big hits in the last inning that we hadn't been getting," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "That's the kind of game that you can bring into the next day. That's a very good club over there that's playing about as well as they can play."

The Mariners and Royals have split the first two of a four-game series between division leaders.

Mike Cameron also homered for Seattle, which scored five runs off MacDougal (3-4) with two outs in the ninth. The rookie had converted 10 save chances in a row.

"When he connected, I knew it was gone. I tried to get it to the outside corner, but it just didn't get there," MacDougal said.

In other AL games, it was: Toronto 4, Boston 1; Baltimore 6, Anaheim 5; New York 10, Cleveland 4; Tampa Bay 2, Texas 0; Minnesota 3, Oakland 2; and Chicago 7, Detroit 5.

With Seattle trailing 3-1 in the ninth, Edgar Martinez drew a leadoff walk. Ben Davis' one-out single and Willie Bloomquist's two-out single loaded the bases before pinch-hitter John Mabry's infield single off MacDougal's leg cut it to 3-2.

Suzuki then hit an 0-1 pitch over the right-center fence for his first career slam and ninth homer of the season.

The speedy Suzuki has 111 singles among his major league-leading 140 hits. This time, though, he turned on MacDougal's pitch and drove it.

"He throws a 97, 98mph fastball," Suzuki said. "I cannot miss that pitch when it comes over the plate.''

Arthur Rhodes (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Shigetoshi Hasegawa got three outs for his sixth save in six chances.

Aaron Guiel and Angel Berroa homered for the AL Central-leading Royals, who had their four-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the fourth time in 14 games.

Yankees 10, Indians 4

At New York, Armando Benitez made a successful debut in pinstripes, pitching two scoreless innings to help preserve Roger Clemens' 302nd win.

Jason Giambi homered twice, Ruben Sierra also connected and Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run double for New York, which rallied against Cleveland for the second straight night and opened a four-game lead over second-place Boston in the AL East.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 1

At Boston, Kelvim Escobar gave Toronto its second straight strong pitching performance against the best-hitting team in the majors.

Mike Bordick homered off Tim Wakefield (6-5) and Escobar allowed five hits in seven innings to break a five-start winless streak. The Blue Jays, 3-12 heading into the All-Star break, improved to 2-0 afterward.

Escobar (6-6) became the first Toronto starter other than Roy Halladay to get a victory in the last 21 games.

Orioles 6, Angels 5

At Baltimore, Tony Batista ended his longest slump of the season with a grand slam in the first inning, then hit the tiebreaking homer in the eighth for the Orioles.

Batista was 0-for-14 over a four-game span before his sixth career slam put the Orioles up 5-0. After Anaheim rallied to tie it, he homered against Francisco Rodriguez (5-2) to put Baltimore ahead to stay.

Garret Anderson hit his 23rd homer for the Angels.

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