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After two heartbreakers, M's return favor

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Call it a payback comeback.

Bret Boone hit a grand slam and drove in five runs as the
Seattle Mariners rebounded from a six-run deficit for an 11-8
victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

After blowing leads in the late innings of losses Friday and
Saturday, the Mariners pulled off a stunning rally of their own to
salvage a split of the four-game series.

Seattle trailed 6-0 after two innings and 7-1 after five before
scoring three runs in the sixth, three in the seventh and four in
the eighth.

"This whole series nobody wanted to hold leads,'' Seattle
manager Lou Piniella said. "It seemed like the team in front is
the team that had the problems. This was a good come-from-behind
win after two really tough losses here.''

Boone's third career grand slam, off Buddy Groom in the eighth,
capped the Mariners' biggest comeback of the year.

"We lost two tough games in a row, and being down 7-1, it would
be very easy to fold the tent,'' Boone said. "We didn't. That's
why this team is so good.''

Jay Gibbons, Mike Bordick and Jeff Conine homered for the
Orioles, who were denied their first series victory over Seattle
since May 2000.

"There's a bitter taste in everyone's mouth today. We should
have probably won this one,'' said Baltimore catcher Brook Fordyce,
whose two doubles went for naught.

Manager Mike Hargrove and Bordick were ejected by home plate
umpire Kerwin Danley for arguing ball and strike calls.

"You saw the same game I did,'' said Hargrove, who refrained
from criticizing Danley.

Batting third for the first time with Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki had
four hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

Suzuki, who usually hits leadoff, came in with a .512 batting
average with runners in scoring position.

"The difference is I'm just the third guy hitting in the first
inning,'' Suzuki said. "I do the best I can do. Whatever the team
wants. I never expect to hit third in the major leagues -- look at
my body.''

At 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, Suzuki is hardly the prototypical No. 3
hitter.

"I think he probably liked it,'' said Piniella, who clearly
loved the Mariners' 14-hit attack.

"We've been through a bit of a dry spell the last few weeks.
Today we got some big hits with men on base,'' he said. "Hopefully
that sort of thing gets a little bit contagious and gets us
going.''

Down 7-1, the Mariners began their comeback in the sixth. After
Suzuki beat out a bunt and Boone chased Orioles starter Sean
Douglass with a one-out double, B.J. Ryan gave up a two-run single
to Ben Davis and an RBI single to Jeff Cirillo.

Seattle pulled even in the seventh when Boone, Desi Relaford and
Davis all hit RBI singles off Rick Bauer.

In the eighth, Ruben Sierra drew a walk from Jorge Julio (2-4)
and Suzuki singled. Buddy Groom then walked John Olerud before
Boone lined a shot into the left-field seats.

"Our bullpen is really tired right now. The effort was there,
but the velocity was not,'' Hargrove said. "Against a team like
Seattle, you give them a crack to crawl through and they'll take
advantage of it. They don't have the record they have by
accident.''

Arthur Rhodes (4-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for the
Mariners, who, unlike the previous two days, received a fine effort
from their bullpen after starter Joel Pineiro gave up seven runs in
five innings.

First-inning singles by Brian Roberts and Gary Matthews Jr.
preceded a sacrifice fly by Chris Singleton and Gibbons'
opposite-field drive to left.

Baltimore made it 6-0 in the second when Bordick hit a two-run
homer and Singleton drove in a run with a fielder's choice.

Suzuki hit an RBI single in the third, but a run-scoring single
by Tony Batista made it 7-1 in the fifth.

Game notes
Matthews had three hits for the Orioles. ... Gibbons' homer
was his first since May 10 and only the second with a runner on.
... It was the Mariners' 19th come-from-behind win of the year. ...
Suzuki, who's hitting .533 (16-for-30) against Baltimore this
season, upped his league-leading batting average to .375 after
going 4-for-5.