Gonzalez controls skidding Mariners for victory

BOSTON (AP) -- Jeremi Gonzalez waited 14 months between wins, long enough for him to consider giving up baseball.

"At one point, I thought, 'This is it,'" he said Sunday after earning his first win since 2003. "But right now I'm working hard and I'm going to keep doing that."

Gonzalez gave the Red Sox another good start as a fill-in for their injured aces and Boston beat Seattle 6-3 in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday. The Red Sox extended their winning streak to five games while sending the Mariners to their seventh
consecutive loss.

In the night game, Richie Sexson hit a wind-blown grand slam off Cla Meredith, who was making his major-league debut, in the Mariners' 6-4 win.

Called up when Curt Schilling and David Wells went on the disabled list, Gonzalez allowed two earned runs on four hits and
two walks while striking out six. It was his first victory since Aug. 19, 2003, after 15 starts in which he went 0-11.

Gonzalez, who earned a no-decision in his Red Sox debut against Detroit on Monday, left with two outs in the sixth after giving up two runs in the inning.

"He was so effective early, we had a little bit of a cushion," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Now he's given us two starts. That's what we're looking for."

Three relievers finished up for Boston, with Keith Foulke
pitching the ninth for his eighth save.

Joel Pineiro (2-3) allowed six runs on 10 hits and a walk, striking out four in seven innings. Ichiro Suzuki reached base three times, stole two bases and scored two runs for the Mariners.

"Thank goodness he and [Adrian] Beltre were in the lineup today," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "They got four of the five hits we had."

The first game of the split-admission doubleheader was a makeup of Saturday's rainout, and though every ticket was sold, there were several thousand empty seats as fans decided to stay indoors rather than sit through 46 degree temperatures with a stiff wind.

The wind knocked down two long drives by Boston catcher Doug Mirabelli, turning a pair of potential homers into a single and a double. Kevin Millar also lost a potential homer to the wind and wound up with a three-run triple.

"The ballpark played very big today," Francona said.

Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez left the game after being hit by a pitch in the first inning in the upper left thigh by a 3-2
fastball. The Red Sox outfielder remained in the game until Jay Payton pinch-hit for him in the fourth.

Francona said the cold weather made Ramirez's leg tighten up so it made sense to give him some time off. Ramirez was not in the initial lineup for the late game.

Game notes
Johnny Damon singled leading off the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.