SEATTLE (AP) -- Mark McLemore has played too many games and had
too much success to get discouraged by one error.
McLemore atoned for his game-tying error in the ninth inning
with a two-out RBI single in the 10th, giving the Seattle Mariners
a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday. "It was right in the middle of my glove and it didn't stay,''
he said. "Fortunately, I got enough of it off the end of the bat
and it had a funny spin on it.'' Seattle took three of four from the A's, who have lost seven of
eight following a 7-1 start. With two outs in the 10th, Mike Cameron walked and stole second.
Jeremy Fikac (0-1) walked Carlos Guillen before McLemore blooped
his single to left on a 3-1 pitch to score the speedy Cameron. The 38-year-old McLemore said none of his teammates had to say
anything to him in the dugout after his error. "Everybody knows I should have made the play,'' he said. "I
make that play 101 times out of a hundred.'' Cameron said McLemore's confidence is outrageously high. "To be honest with you, it doesn't matter,'' he said. "The
guy's been playing so long. It was a physical mistake that happened
to him. It's all part of the game. It's just how you go about it in
your mind.'' Fikac blamed himself for the loss. "It was a good pitch, but still I just can't go 3-1 to him,''
he said. Jeff Nelson (2-0) worked a scoreless inning to earn the win. Oakland rallied from a 3-1 deficit against closer Kazuhiro
Sasaki in the ninth, tying it on an error by McLemore at third
base. Eric Chavez led off the inning with his third homer in three
days. All four of his home runs this season have come against the
Mariners. Jermaine Dye singled and Eric Brynes entered as a pinch-runner
before Erubiel Durazo walked and Ramon Hernandez sacrificed the
runners to second and third. Sasaki walked Chris Singleton
intentionally to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Mark Ellis struck out and Terrence Long hit a
grounder to McLemore, who booted it for an error that allowed
Byrnes to score the tying run. Chavez, who had 34 home runs last season, hit a splitter from
Sasaki, his out pitch. "He threw me two splits that were hittable,'' Chavez said.
"The one I hit was a good pitch over the plate and I didn't miss
it.'' It was Sasaki's second blown save in five opportunities, both
against Oakland. Scott Hatteberg flied out to end the inning. "You get closers in games and that's going to happen,''
Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "Mariano Rivera, anybody. So we
don't sit here and feel bad about Kaz because he blew a save.'' Sasaki, 35, had bone chips removed from his right elbow after
last season and had a sore shoulder this spring. Seattle starter Gil Meche allowed just an unearned run over six
innings in his second consecutive strong outing. Before beating
Texas 13-4 Saturday, Meche hadn't won in the majors since June 2,
2000. The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the first on Edgar Martinez's
RBI single and Dan Wilson added a two-run single in the fourth. The A's scored an unearned run in the fifth after Guillen's
overthrow of first from shortstop on Durazo's infield single.
Hernandez singled Durazo to third and he scored on Frank
Menechino's sacrifice fly. Former Mariners pitcher John Halama started for the A's and
lasted 4 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits and four
walks. Durazo was 3-for-3 with three singles. Martinez, who returned to the lineup last Sunday after missing a
week with a strained left hamstring, had a good series. He was
5-for-13 with two walks and four RBIs. Meche allowed four hits and walked none, striking out five. Meche was watching on TV from the locker room when Chavez hit
his 419-foot home run off Sasaki. Meche got Chavez out three times
before he left the game, including a strikeout. "He's a guy who's going to hurt a lot of pitchers in this
league,'' Meche said. "He's a great hitter.''Game notes Mariners 3B Jeff Cirillo left after the fifth inning
because of a strain in his right side. He was replaced by McLemore.
Cirillo said he was injured trying to field Durazo's infield hit in
the fifth. Melvin compared Cirillo's injury to the strained oblique
muscle on Wilson's left side during spring training that forced
Wilson to start the season on the disabled list. "We're going to
have to see how he is tomorrow,'' Melvin said. "That's one you've
got to evaluate the next day. We think he pulled the same thing
that Dan had. I'm not holding out a lot of hope.'' Cirillo didn't
think he was hurt seriously. "I don't think it's that bad,'' he
said. ... Oakland outhomered Seattle 6-1 in the series.