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Seattle gets in winning rally amid rain delays

4/17/2002

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- With nine outs left, the Oakland A's
would have liked their chance to stop the surging Seattle Mariners.

But it wasn't to be. Mike Cameron hit a go-ahead, two-run double
in the fifth inning as Seattle won its ninth consecutive game with a
6-2 rain-shortened victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night.

The game was played in constant drizzle before a downpour forced
a delay of 1 hour, 21 minutes with one out in the top of the fifth
inning and the Mariners leading 5-2.

Another rain delay was called before the bottom of the seventh,
but by that time the game was official and after another 72 minutes
the game was called.

"It was unplayable," A's manager Art Howe admitted. "We
didn't want to get anyone hurt, that's for sure. And there were
still bands of rain coming in."

All of the Mariners' victories in their current streak have come on
the road. Seattle has gone 12-3 overall this season, after setting
American League records with 116 overall victories and 59 road victories last year.

Joel Pineiro (1-0), who relieved starter Freddy Garcia after the
first rain delay, earned the victory.

"Yeah, it was a long night, but it was worth it," Seattle
manager Lou Piniella said.

Jeremy Giambi homered in his first two at-bats for the A's, who
have lost four of six. Cory Lidle (0-3), who lost to Texas twice to
start the season, allowed five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits
in 4 1/3 innings.

Giambi's first career leadoff home run came on a 3-1 pitch from
Garcia and flew over the right-field wall.

He homered again in the third inning, when he again took a 3-1
pitch from Garcia and knocked it over the fence in right center. It
was Giambi's first career multihomer game.

The Mariners went ahead with a six-run, rain-interrupted fifth
inning. Dan Wilson singled, went to second an out later on Ichiro
Suzuki's single, and scored when Lidle made an errant throw to
second on Jeff Cirillo's grounder.

Suzuki went to third on the same play when Terrence Long
mishandled the ball in center, then scored on Bret Boone's single.

Lidle walked John Olerud to load the bases before reliever Chad
Bradford took over. Mike Cameron doubled, scoring Cirillo and
Boone, and Ruben Sierra's single scored Olerud.

The rain delay started during Carlos Guillen's at-bat. When play
resumed, Guillen's sacrifice fly scored Cameron.

Piniella said it was a tough decision to pull Garcia without
earning the victory, but the first delay was too long. Garcia agreed.

"I wanted to win but I didn't want to hurt myself. Things can
happen," he said.

Cameron had fouled a ball off his left foot in the second
inning, but he stayed in the game. The Mariners have been hit by
the loss of designated hitter Edgar Martinez, who had surgery over
the weekend to remove a ruptured hamstring tendon and is expected
to be out more than a month.

Seattle had Cirillo back in the lineup Tuesday after missing two
games because he was hit in the head in batting practice and
required stitches.

The A's had David Justice back in their lineup. He missed
the game Sunday with a sore right elbow.

Game notes
During the second rain delay, at least five fans ran on to
the field, some sliding on the wet tarp. Security guards quickly
jumped into action. ... Suzuki grounded into a double play for the
first time this season in the sixth inning. ... Seattle left-handed pitcher John
Halama, scheduled to pitch Friday, will be skipped in the rotation
this time through and could pitch out of the bullpen during the
series against Oakland. The Mariners have an off-day on Thursday.
... A's left-handed pitcher Mark Mulder was placed on the 15-day disabled list,
retroactive to April 12, with a strained left forearm. ... Outfielder Jermaine Dye will complete his rehab assignment Friday and was
expected to join the A's on Saturday.