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Mariners drop third straight

4/24/2004

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Francisco Cordero's 30th major league
save was unique.

Cordero got four outs, the final three after the second of two
rain delays, to close out the Texas Rangers' 10-8 victory over the
Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

The Rangers closer struck out Rich Aurilia to end the eighth,
then had to sit through a rain delay of 1 hour, 2 minutes.

Cordero came back for the ninth and walked John Olerud leading
off. He retired the next two batters, then walked Ichiro Suzuki to
put the potential tying run on.

Next up was Scott Spiezio, who had three hits, including a
two-run homer and a run-scoring triple. Cordero finished the game
with a strikeout.

"A rain delay has never happened to me before," Cordero said.
"After an hour, you don't know how you're going to react. I was
able to get out of it and get the win."

Hank Blalock keyed a four-run fourth with a two-run double, and
Laynce Nix drove in two important insurance runs for Texas.

David Dellucci and Kevin Mench homered, and Alfonso Soriano had
three hits for the Rangers, who are over .500 (9-8) after 17 games
for the first time since 1999.

The Rangers had 15 hits to raise their team batting average to
.310, .377 at home.

"We had a lot of big two-out hits tonight," Rangers manager
Buck Showalter said. "We needed every run we could get. We all
felt weird karma with all the momentum swings."

Rangers starter Ryan Drese (1-0) allowed three runs and seven
hits in 5 2-3 innings. Drese was 0-2 with a 9.42 ERA in four
previous career appearances against the Mariners.

Bret Boone homered and drove in two runs for Seattle, which has
lost three straight to fall to 6-11, last in the AL West.

"We're off to a tough start," Boone said. "We all know we're
better than that. We need to get back on track. The last two years
we came out on fire and won 93 games. This year we're doing it a
little differently."

Dellucci's third homer in the last two games in the second off
starter Joel Pineiro (1-2) tied it at 1.

Seattle grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third on Spiezio's RBI triple.

The Mariners had been outscored 18-0 in the first three innings
of their previous nine games.

Soriano's two-out RBI single in the third evened the score at 2
and the Rangers took the lead when Michael Young scored from third
on Pineiro's wild pitch.

Mench homered leading off the fourth, and four pitches later
play was stopped because of rain.

After a 30-minute delay, Blalock hit a two-run double and
Soriano singled home another to make it 7-2.

In the seventh, the Mariners narrowed the deficit to 7-5 off
Carlos Almanzar on Boone's solo homer and Aurilia's RBI double.

Pineiro allowed seven runs and 11 hits over six innings. He
struck out six and walked one.

"That's not indicative of how he threw the ball," Rangers
manager Bob Melvin said. "We just didn't get the right things
happening at the right time. We're trying to make our own breaks
but it's an uphill battle right now."

Nix padded the lead in the seventh with a two-out bloop single
off Ron Villone to drive in two runs.

Spiezio's two-run homer and Edgar Martinez's RBI double pulled
the Mariners within 10-8 in the eighth.

Game notes
Former Orioles star Cal Ripken threw out the ceremonial
first pitch. Ripken was in Arlington on a book-signing tour.
...Rangers 1B Adrian Gonzalez doubled in the third, his first extra
base hit in the majors. ...Seattle LF Raul Ibanez sustained a
bruised tailbone from a collision with Spiezio as Spiezio made a
catch in short left field in the sixth. Ibanez stayed in the game
but was replaced by Quinton McCracken in the seventh. Melvin said
Ibanez would probably miss at least one game. "For him to come out
of the game, it had to be pretty bad," Melvin said.