Series: Game 2 of 4

Seattle leads 2-0 (as of 4/15)

Game 1: Monday, April 14
Game 2: Tuesday, April 15
Game 3: Wednesday, April 16
Game 4: Thursday, April 17
in 10

Athletics 3

(7-7, 2-6 away)

Mariners 5

(8-6, 5-3 home)

    10:05 PM ET, April 15, 2003

    Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 011010000 3 6 0
    SEA 11000102 - 5 11 0

    W: A. Rhodes (1-0)

    L: M. Bowie (0-1)

    S: K. Sasaki (3)

    Mariners win fourth straight, take over first in AL West

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Edgar Martinez is back in Seattle's lineup, and the Mariners are in first place for the first time since last Aug. 18.

    Edgar Martinez

    John Olerud's RBI double in the eighth inning gave the Mariners the lead in their fourth consecutive victory, 5-3 Tuesday night over the sputtering Oakland Athletics.

    The Mariners took over first place in the AL West by a game over defending division champion Oakland and 2002 World Series champion Anaheim.

    After a 7-1 start, the A's lost their sixth game in a row, their longest losing streak since they dropped seven straight from April 8-15, 2001.

    Eric Chavez and Mark Ellis homered for Oakland.

    Martinez, in his third game back after missing a week with a strained left hamstring, was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Even at 40, the two-time AL batting champion and six-time All-Star is still a key bat in Seattle's lineup.

    "I think you could wake him up on Christmas Day and he'd still get some hits,'' Mariners manager Bob Melvin said.

    Losing pitcher Micah Bowie acted as if he was resigned to his fate.

    "He is a great hitter now,'' Bowie said of Martinez. "He has always been able to hit. He will probably be able to hit when he is 50.''

    In the Seattle eighth, Martinez opened with a double to center off Bowie. Then Olerud doubled to center to bring in pinch-runner Mark McLemore.

    Mike Cameron had an infield single to put Olerud on third, and Carlos Guillen singled to left to score Olerud for Seattle's fourth straight hit off Bowie (0-1).

    Making sure he didn't re-injure himself, Martinez ran gingerly to first and didn't head to second until he saw A's center fielder Chris Singleton fall down on the warning track. Singleton flipped the ball to right fielder Jermaine Dye to make the relay throw.

    Martinez wanted a double, but wasn't going to hurt himself again.

    "I was going to trot and see if he (Singleton) had a chance to throw me out,'' he said. "I probably would have pulled back and gone back to first. But sometimes you're able to make that decision while you're running, while some other times it's too late.''

    Martinez was on the disabled list from April 12-June 13, 2002, after surgery to remove a ruptured tendon behind his left knee. He's trying to be exceedingly careful while running the bases.

    "I didn't feel any pain when I ran today, but I still have to be careful,'' he said. "Late in the game, I think it's going to be situations like today when I'm going to be pulled out of the game and have somebody who can run better.''

    Arthur Rhodes (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the victory and Kazuhiro Sasaki worked a perfect ninth -- striking out two -- for his third save in four opportunities.

    The Mariners tied the score at 3 and chased Ted Lilly in the sixth on a double by Bret Boone, a wild pitch by Lilly while pitching to Martinez and Martinez's single. Before Boone's double, Lilly had retired 10 in a row, seven by strikeouts.

    Ricardo Rincon got Ben Davis to pop out with the bases loaded for the final out of the sixth.

    Oakland took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Ellis hit his second homer of the season.

    The A's tied the score at 2 in the third when Chavez hit his second homer. Mark Johnson had a sacrifice fly in Oakland's second.

    Martinez had an RBI single in the first and Ben Davis singled in a run in the second for Seattle.

    Long hit a one-hopper off Ryan Franklin's left leg for an infield single in the fifth, but Franklin was unhurt. He waved off pitching coach Bryan Price and trainer Rick Griffin when they were headed to the mound to check on him.

    Franklin went 6 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on six hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts.

    Lilly allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks, with 10 strikeouts, in 5 2/3 innings.

    In the Oakland locker room, the A's emphasized that it's still early in the season.

    "There is frustration,'' Scott Hatteberg said. "But I don't think there is panic. We've been in all these games. Being able to push across the last couple and hold onto the lead, we have not been able to do.''

    Game notes

    Martinez is 5-for-11 with four RBI since returning for Seattle. ... The Mariners had three stolen bases: Randy Winn (3), Mike Cameron (2) and Boone (1). The Mariners are 9-for-9 in stolen-base attempts this season. Atlanta (eight) and Baltimore (five) are the only teams in the majors who have not been caught stealing. ... The Mariners have been outhomered 21-11 this season. The 21 homers surrendered by Seattle pitchers are tied with Toronto for the most in the AL. ... Olerud doubled in the sixth for his first career hit off Lilly. He was 0-for-12 before his double. ... Four of Oakland's six straight losses are by two runs or less.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press