Sexson, Ichiro homers propel Mariners past Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- For the second time this season, Richie
Sexson hit a grand slam after Raul Ibanez was intentionally walked
in front of him. This time, it was John Lackey who paid for that

Sexson hit his 12th career grand slam and Ichiro Suzuki added a
three-run homer, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 12-6 win over
the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

"It's gratifying to hit a grand slam," Sexson said. "But it's
not like you're looking in the dugout going, `Yeah, you shouldn't
have done that.' It's a good move on his part. You don't have to be
a rocket scientist to figure that out."

Sexson, who beat the Angels with a 13th-inning home run on May
13 at Anaheim, increased the margin to 7-2 in the fifth with his
third grand slam this season. The one-out drive to center field
came on a 1-1 pitch after Lackey gave Ibanez the intentional pass.

"I was totally with the decision," Lackey said. "I just
didn't execute the pitch. That's all on me."

Danny Graves of the Indians also set up one of Sexson's slams
with an intentional walk to Ibanez on April 12 in Seattle's 11-9
victory at Cleveland.

Adrian Beltre also homered and Jose Lopez had a two-run double,
helping the Mariners win for the eighth time in 10 games.

Gil Meche (6-4) won his fourth consecutive start at Angel
Stadium, allowing two runs and seven hits in five innings after
straining a muscle right above his hip bone during a 33-pitch
second inning. The right-hander walked four and struck out three.
Meche has a 12-3 record and 3.21 ERA in June throughout his career.

"I felt it in my bullpen session the other day," Meche said.
"I didn't think it was going to be an issue today. But I just kind
of had to watch what I did the rest of the time I was on the mound
because I didn't want to pull anything. I threw too many pitches in
the second inning, and that kind of made it a little sore."

Lackey (4-4) allowed eight runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Sexson's grand slam was the first given up by the right-hander in
his previous 803 1-3 career innings during the regular season, and
38 2-3 more in the postseason.

"It feels like I've given up about half my runs to them," said
Lackey, who has surrendered 17 earned runs over 15 2-3 innings in
his three starts against Seattle this season. "I can't explain it.
I gave up a lot of soft hits, mixed in with a couple of loud ones.
That's a bad combination."

Sexson has seven hits in 16 career at-bats against Lackey, who
departed after Reed capped Seattle's five-run fifth with an RBI

"Lackey's one of those guys who can just as easily shut you
down. so you can never let up on him -- or that team, either,"
Sexson said. "Even though we were up by some runs, they can come
back in a hurry."

Angels rookie catcher Mike Napoli homered in the sixth and
seventh innings against reliever Emiliano Fruto.

Seattle grabbed a 3-2 lead with three runs in the third.
Yuniesky Betancourt doubled home the first run and was involved in
one of the more humorous plays of the season moments later, as
Suzuki followed with a fielder's choice grounder to first baseman
Kendry Morales.

The rookie's quick throw to the plate forced Jeremy Reed to
retreat back to third, but Betancourt was already there and tried
to shove his teammate off the bag as Napoli tagged both runners
just to be safe. Betancourt was ruled out, and Lopez drove in the
tying and go-ahead runs with a two-out double over the head of left
fielder Garret Anderson.

"When he tagged us both, his foot was on top of my foot. So his
wasn't on the base. And you've got to make sure you're both
standing on the base," Reed said. "He was just trying to make
sure we were both standing on the base."

Suzuki had no RBI this season against the Angels in 34 at-bats
until the seventh, when he drove Kevin Gregg's 2-2 pitch into the
right field seats for his third homer to increase Seattle's lead to
12-3. Suzuki also had a pair of singles en route to his 33rd
multi-hit game, the most in the majors.

Beltre hit his fifth home run two pitches later. It was only the
second time all season that the Mariners had back-to-back homers.

Game notes
Lackey allowed a career-worst nine runs on Aug. 5, 2003 at
Boston. ... Seattle's pitching staff leads the AL with 426
strikeouts. Last season, the Mariners were dead last in the majors
with 892. ... The Mariners, who opened a road trip with a victory
for the first time this season on Friday night with a 4-1 win, have
now won four consecutive series against the two-time defending AL
West champion Angels. ... Anderson had two hits including an RBI
single, and is 10 hits away from 2,000. ... Angels SS Orlando
Cabrera reached base in his 40th consecutive game without the
benefit of a fielder's choice, the longest active streak in the