Fri, Aug 15, 2003 - Page 24 News List

Moon makes Mariners superstitious

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Ichiro Suzuki and Randy Winn each tripled and finished with three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored as Seattle beat the Blue Jays 13-6

AP , SEATTLE WASHINGTON, CHICAGO, AND ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA

Ichiro Suzuki, left, of the Seattle Mariners dives back to first base on a pick-off attempt against Carlos Delgado, right, of the Toronto Blue Jays at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, Wednesday.

PHOTO: AFP

American League

Ichiro Suzuki was asked whether there's any Japanese expression comparable to the American superstition that strange things happen when there's a full moon.

"No, we don't say that," Suzuki said through a translator, looking puzzled.

He didn't have to say it because his manager did.

Suzuki and Randy Winn each tripled and finished with three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored as the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 13-6 in a wild back-and-forth contest Wednesday night.

"It wasn't one of the crisper-played games, even though there were no errors. I don't know what to say about it ... You're looking for a full moon out there," Seattle manager Bob Melvin said.

The Mariners were subdued afterward, even after a big night for the top of Seattle's order. Bret Boone drove in three runs to boost his season total to 95 -- third-best in the American League.

Suzuki was as good as ever, scattering his singles and speeding around the bases for a sixth-inning triple.

"It's almost as if he looks out there and sees where he wants to hit the ball based on where you're playing," Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. "It is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."

Seattle had 17 hits, including 13 singles, and capitalized on 10 walks by five Toronto pitchers.

The Mariners stretched their American League West lead over Oakland to four games after the Athletics lost at home to Boston.

The Mariners led 2-0 after Suzuki's leadoff single and Winn's triple to left-center. Boone grounded out, driving in Winn. Rey Sanchez made it 4-0 in the third, driving in two runs with a bases-loaded single. Suzuki added a sacrifice fly to give the Mariners a 5-0 lead.

Other MLB games

* Cleveland 5, Minnesota 0

* Texas 7, Detroit 3

* Anaheim 2, White Sox 1

* Boston 7, Oakland 3

* Atlanta 7, San Diego 1

* Florida 2, Los Angeles 1

* Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 5

* Philadelphia 11, Brewers 4

* Arizona 3, Cincinnati 1


"We swung the bats well," Melvin said. "Not that it wasn't good -- it just wasn't the greatest tempo for a game.

Julio Mateo (3-0) got the victory after relieving starting pitcher Ryan Franklin with two outs in the fourth. Mateo pitched 3 1-3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.

"Mateo came in and did what he's done all year, and he got rewarded for it," Melvin said.

Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, who came off the disabled list Tuesday after missing two months with cracked ribs, was cheered when he took the mound in the eighth and retired the side in order.

"I was just having fun," Sasaki said through a translator. "When I left the bullpen to go to the mound, that's when the cheers started and it hit me. I started to get nervous."

Winn sprayed three singles and sprinted around the bases for his first-inning triple.

"You get those guys going around the bases, and they're fun to watch," Melvin said.

It was back-and-forth through the middle innings, but the Mariners went ahead for good at 9-6 by scoring four runs in the fifth off lefty Jason Kershner (0-2), the third Toronto pitcher.

Mark McLemore led off the fifth with a single and Suzuki drew a walk, setting up RBI singles by Winn, Boone and John Olerud. The Mariners scored another run on a wild pitch by Kershner.

Devil Rays 6, Orioles 5

After Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella was ejected during a hat-kicking tirade in the ninth inning, the Devil Rays beat Baltimore 6-5 on Travis Lee's RBI double in the 10th Wednesday.

Carl Crawford had three of Tampa Bay's team-record six stolen bases. The last-place Devil Rays completed a three-game sweep and improved to 16-11 since the All-Star break.

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