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Mariners suffer sixth loss in a row

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The injuries keep mounting for the Baltimore
Orioles.

So do the victories.

Melvin Mora, Rafael Palmeiro and Miguel Tejada homered to back a
strong pitching performance by Daniel Cabrera, and Baltimore capped
a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 5-2 victory
Thursday night.

Mora had three hits for the Orioles, whose eighth win in 11
games moved them a season-best 14 games over .500 (30-16).
Baltimore leads the AL East by a season-high 4½ games.

The day started on a down note for Baltimore, which put
left-handed starter Erik Bedard on the 15-day disabled list with a
strained knee ligament. Bedard (5-1, 2.08 ERA) joins starting
outfielder Luis Matos and starting catcher Javy Lopez on the DL.

But the Orioles have proven to be resilient. They went 9-7 while
Sammy Sosa was on the DL, and swept the Mariners after Lopez left
in the third inning of the opener.

"What are we going to do, quit?" said second baseman Brian
Roberts, who missed the middle game of the series with a bruised
knee. "You've got to play. We're doing what we need to do to win.
You're going to go through stretches where you don't have everybody
you need, but we've got guys stepping up and doing an awesome
job."

Guys like Palmeiro, who's hitting .390 over his last 13 games.

"Raffy's an important part of that lineup right now, and for
him to get going now, swinging the bat the way he is, is going to
pick up some of the slack with Javy out," Orioles manager Lee
Mazzilli said.

Baltimore has won eight in a row at Camden Yards against the
Mariners, who have lost six straight and 10 of 11 on the road under
former Orioles manager Mike Hargrove.

Cabrera (4-3) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings
before leaving with a 3-1 lead. The right-hander struck out eight
and walked two.

"That's the first time I've seen Cabrera since spring training
of '03 and he certainly throws the ball very well," Hargrove said.
"He was throwing the ball 95 to 99, and once you got past the
second inning, he started getting his breaking ball over, which
made him double nasty."

Seattle starter Ryan Franklin (2-6) gave up three runs and eight
hits over seven innings but fell to 0-4 lifetime against Baltimore.

"Here's Franklin throwing another good ballgame and we can't
generate any offense for him," Hargrove said. "I think a lot of
it had to do with the fact that the other guy was on the mound and
he had outstanding stuff."

After Cabrera left, Jorge Julio struck out Richie Sexson with
two outs and runners at the corners in the eighth before Tejada hit
a two-run homer off Shigetoshi Hasegawa in the bottom half to make
it 5-1.

Asked to explain the Orioles' resiliency, Mazzilli said,
"Chemistry, I think, is a big thing. And good pitching."

Seattle rookie Jeremy Reed hit his first major league homer with
two outs in the ninth.

"Obviously, you want to get the first one when the team's hot
and you're winning," Reed said. "That's the way I would've liked
for it to come. But the first one, it's a thrill."

All of Baltimore's runs came via the home run. Mora hit a
two-run drive in the first inning and Palmeiro added a solo shot in
the sixth. Palmeiro has 51 career homers against Seattle, 16 more
than any other player.

"He's a Mariner killer," Franklin said. "He's got me a few
other times, but I wasn't going to walk him. I'm like, here, hit it
if you can. And he did."

Cabrera allowed only one baserunner until Reed hit a double with
two outs in the fifth, the Mariners' first hit. Miguel Olivo
followed with a pop-up.

Seattle closed to 2-1 in the sixth, however, when Ichiro Suzuki
hit a one-out triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Randy Winn.

Palmeiro restored the two-run cushion in the Orioles' half with
his 557th career homer, the sixth this season and second in two
games.

The Mariners got runners on first and second in the seventh
before Cabrera completed his night by retiring Olivo on a grounder
to short.

Game notes
Roberts went 1-for-3 with a walk to extend his hitting
streak to a career-high 15 games. ... Franklin has yielded a
team-high 11 homers. ... The Orioles called up RHP Hayden Penn to
replace Bedard on the roster. Penn will make his major league debut
Saturday night against Detroit.