OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bret Boone sent a drive over the
left-field fence and flipped his bat away. Just like that, a week's
worth of frustration had been ended for the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners avoided matching the worst start in franchise
history, rallying with two runs in the ninth off former teammate
Arthur Rhodes. Boone then hit a two-run homer in a five-run 10th
inning to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-4 Sunday."We've rallied before but it just hasn't been enough. Today it
was," Boone said. "That was a nice win there. If we lose that
game it would be a tough way to go into the off-day -- an 0-6
start."Showing little life for the first eight innings, the Mariners
tied the game off Oakland's new closer on RBI singles by Ichiro
Suzuki and Randy Winn with one out in the ninth.They broke open the game against a shaky Chris Hammond (1-1) in
the 10th to avoid matching the six-game losing streak that started
their 1991 season. The winningest team in baseball the last four
seasons became the final team to get its first win in 2004."I don't think it weighed on us too much," Winn said. "It's a
162-game season. There'll be stretches where we don't play well and
the losses pile up. It's more magnified at the beginning of the
season because you don't have any wins."Raul Ibanez started the winning rally with an opposite-field
bloop double that landed just inside the left-field line. John
Olerud then laid down a rare sacrifice bunt that Hammond misplayed
for an error, putting runners on first and third with no outs.Ben Davis followed with a fly to left, and Ibanez easily beat
Bobby Kielty's off-target throw home for the go-ahead run.Willie Bloomquist added an RBI single, Suzuki drove in a run on
a fielder's choice and Boone capped it with his homer."Things did get unraveled there and Boone finished us off,"
A's manager Ken Macha said. "They have a good offensive club over
there and matchups are tough for me out of the bullpen."Shigetoshi Hasegawa (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the
win.Rhodes, a setup man in Seattle the past four seasons, had
converted his first three save chances with Oakland before failing
Sunday, costing Mark Mulder his second win of the season.Dan Wilson and Willie Bloomquist hit consecutive one-out singles
in the ninth before the hits by Suzuki and Winn."My stuff was good today; they found the holes," Rhodes said.
"I got almost all groundballs and there's nothing you can do about
that. I think they were sitting on my fastball. You get frustrated
sometimes but you realize those guys are big league hitters."Eric Chavez homered for Oakland, which finished its opening
homestand 4-2.Seattle starter Jamie Moyer struggled with his control in
Oakland's three-run second inning, missing the corners he usually
paints with regularity. The A's drew three walks in the inning and
scored on RBI singles by Bobby Crosby and Mark Kotsay and a
sacrifice fly by Marco Scutaro.That appeared to be enough for Mulder, who needed only 58
pitches to get through the first five innings before running into
trouble in the sixth."We never gave up, even when Mulder was out there dealing the
way he was," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "A 4-0 deficit
felt like 10-0. But we didn't fall into the trap of 'Here we go
again."Suzuki walked with one out and went to second on Winn's single.
Boone then hit an RBI double off Chavez's glove at third base and
Martinez followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2.
Moyer allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. ...
Crosby's single was his first career RBI in his 28th AB. Crosby's
predecessor at shortstop for the A's, 2002 AL MVP Miguel Tejada,
has no RBI in seven games for Baltimore. ... The Mariners'
bullpen, which came into the game with an 8.59 ERA, pitched five
scoreless innings. ... Moyer threw 38 pitches in the second inning
-- three more than Mulder needed for the first three. ... Oakland DH
Erubiel Durazo stole his fourth career base in the third inning.