A's loss to Mariners is Yankees' gain


SEATTLE (AP) -- Joel Pineiro and the Mariners once again took
care of Oakland. Too bad for Seattle, it's too late.

Pineiro beat the AL West champions for the fourth time this
season and Mike Cameron homered as the Mariners defeated the
Athletics 9-3 Friday night.

"You've just got to tip your cap to Oakland," Pineiro said.
"They won some games when they needed to.

"We got 90-something wins and we're going home again so it's
tough," he said. "Usually 90-something wins gets you a spot in
the playoffs."

The Athletics' loss clinched home-field advantage for the New
York Yankees throughout the AL playoffs.

"It didn't really register all that much," Eric Byrnes of the
A's said.

Pineiro (16-11) improved his career record against the A's to
6-1, including 4-0 in 2003.

"I don't know why," Pineiro said. "I don't know if it's
tougher for them to see the ball against me. I go out there and
give it everything I've got every time I'm out there.

The Mariners, returning from a 4-6 road trip during which they
were eliminated in the division race and wild-card contention, got
three hits each from Ichiro Suzuki and Randy Winn. Cameron drove in
three runs.

John Olerud, who had two hits and two RBI for the Mariners,
said Seattle beat itself after holding an eight-game lead over
Oakland on June 13. The A's took over first place in the division
on Aug. 27.

"It's not like those guys were the guys who really beat us,"
Olerud said. "We just didn't play well when we needed to."

Seattle is 10-7 against the A's this season.

Edgar Martinez, the Mariners' 40-year-old designated hitter, got
a standing ovation when he batted in the eighth inning. He will
decide this winter whether to return for next season or retire.

The A's, who clinched their second straight AL West title on
Tuesday night, had a four-game winning streak broken. Oakland will
face Boston in the first round of the playoffs.

Pineiro pitched six innings and allowed three runs -- one earned
-- and six hits.

Pineiro finished his season with a 3-1 record and a 3.71 ERA in
September after stumbling with an 0-5 record and an 8.30 ERA in
August. His 16 victories are a career high.

"People remember how you ended up for the most part," Mariners
manager Bob Melvin said. "This guy's a horse. If you ask the
hitters in the American League about the top 10 starters in the
league, this guy's going to be on everybody's list."

Julio Mateo pitched the final three innings to get his first
major league save in his 62nd career game, including 50 this year.

Trailing 2-0, Seattle tied it on Cameron's two-run homer, his
18th of the season, in the second. The Mariners went ahead 3-2 on
Suzuki's RBI double later in the inning.

In the third, the Mariners broke open the game against rookie
Michael Wood (2-1), making his first major league start.

Seattle started the inning with five consecutive hits and scored
four runs for a 7-2 lead.

Olerud doubled in two runs, Cameron singled in a run and Rey
Sanchez hit into a double play for the fourth run in the inning.

The A's scored an unearned run in the first after second baseman
Bret Boone's sixth error of the season. Miguel Tejada had an RBI

Mark Ellis singled in Oakland's second run in the second and the
A's got a second unearned run in the fifth when Ellis stole third
and scored on catcher Ben Davis' throwing error on the play.

Suzuki, the Mariners' Gold Glove right fielder, robbed Scott
Hatteberg of a homer in the third when he reached over the wall to
catch a fly ball.

"It's the second time this year that he's done that to me and
I'm sick of it," Hatteberg said. "It was a great catch."

A's manager Ken Macha said he'll play his regular starting
lineup on Sunday, but not on Saturday when he won't play Jose
Guillen, Hatteberg or Byrnes.

"It's a balancing act here, trying to maintain the intensity
that we've got to have when we get into the playoffs," Macha

Game notes
The Mariners have hit only 137 homers this season, 13th in
the league. Only Tampa Bay, with 136, has fewer. The Mariners hit
152 homers last season. The last time they had fewer homers than
this season was 126 in 1991, when they played in the Kingdome. ...
Despite its two errors, the Mariners have only 63 for the season
and can set a record for the fewest errors in the major leagues in
a season in their final two games. The 1999 New York Mets hold the
record with 68 errors. ... The Mariners have won three straight
season series from the A's.