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Late heroics earn M's 13th straight road victory

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ After failing to get a bunt down, Mike Cameron just wanted to put the ball in play. Instead, he hit it over the fence.

Cameron's three-run homer off Jose Mesa in the ninth inning led
the Seattle Mariners to their ninth straight victory, 5-4 over the
Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night.

"I won't screw up that many,'' Cameron said of the his failed bunt attempts. "This time, it worked out for us.''

After rallying in the top of the ninth, the Mariners escaped a bases-loaded jam when Kazuhiro Sasaki struck out Jim Thome and retired Bobby Abreu on a fly ball.

The victory was a team-record 13th straight on the road for Seattle. Overall, the Mariners are on their longest winning streak since taking 10 straight from April 8-17 last year.

"We're a roll,'' Seattle's first-year manager Bob Melvin said. "If we're close, we feel we have a chance.''

The Mariners trailed 4-2 when Bret Boone hit a single to start
the ninth and John Olerud walked. Cameron then popped up two bunt
attempts before hitting an 0-2 pitch into the left-field bullpen.

"I was looking for his hardest fastball and I got a curve,'' said Cameron, who played with Mesa in Seattle three years ago.

Julio Mateo (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for Seattle, and
Sasaki worked the ninth for his 10th save in 14 chances.

After Tomas Perez hit a single to start the ninth for the Phillies, pinch-hitter Jason Michaels hit a ground-rule double that could've scored pinch-runner Nick Punto if a fan hadn't touched the ball. Sasaki then retired Placido Polanco on a grounder to third and walked Jimmy Rollins to load the bases, before retiring Thome and Abreu to end the game.

"I didn't get it done,'' Thome said. "It's a tough loss.''

Mesa (1-4) blew his third save of the year as the Phillies were swept for the first time this season.

Boone hit his 17th homer for the Mariners, who improved the majors' best record to 40-18.

Phillies starter Brandon Duckworth gave up two runs, four hits
and struck out seven in seven innings, his longest outing of the year. He hadn't pitched more than six innings in any of his previous seven starts.

Joel Pineiro allowed four runs and five hits in six innings, coming off a 12-strikeout, four-hitter against Minnesota last Friday.

The Phillies scored twice in the third, taking their first lead of the series. Pat Burrell walked with one out and Perez followed with a double.

Duckworth's RBI single to right tied it at 1. Polanco then hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Perez for a 2-1 lead. Perez barely
eluded a strong throw from Ichiro Suzuki, sliding around the tag of
catcher Ben Davis.

Thome walked with one out in the third and went to second on Abreu's single. Lieberthal hit a double down the left-field line, scoring both runners for a 4-1 lead.

The Phillies didn't get another hit until Lieberthal hit a single with one out in the eighth.

Boone cut it to 4-2 in the fourth with a long homer deep into the center-field seats. The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the first when Suzuki scored on a wild pitch. He started the inning with a double.

"If you're a great team, you get breaks,'' Boone said. "If you play right, you make your own breaks.''

Duckworth escaped a jam in the fifth. With runners on second and third, Suzuki hit a comebacker and Jeff Cirillo was caught in a rundown between third and home. Duckworth then struck out Carlos Guillen to end the inning.

Notes:@ Cameron packed all of his bats after the game except for one. He said it was for one of Mesa's sons, who asked him for it.
... Mariners DH Edgar Martinez went 0-for-2 in the series. He
didn't start because there is no designated hitter in NL parks during interleague games. ... The Phillies had been 29-0 when
leading after eight innings. ... Phillies reliever Rheal Cormier
pitched a perfect eighth. He has allowed just two earned runs in 27 2/3 innings since giving up five in his first appearance. ...
Rollins was dropped from first to second in the order for the first time this season. He went 0-for-4 and has one hit in his last 25
at-bats.