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Orioles defeat M's on Gil's sacrifice fly

6/1/2002

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles accomplished what no team
had done this season: beat the Seattle Mariners with a late rally.

Geronimo Gil drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in
the bottom of the 10th inning, capping an improbable comeback that
gave Baltimore an 8-7 victory Friday night.

Chris Singleton, Tony Batista and Jeff Conine homered for the
Orioles, who trailed 5-0 in the third inning and 7-3 in the
seventh. It was Conine's ninth home run of the season and fourth in
three games.

John Olerud homered and Ichiro Suzuki had three hits for
Seattle. The Mariners were 24-0 when leading after seven innings.

"I don't think we think we're ever out of it, even against the
best team in the American League,'' Conine said. "With that team,
and one of the best bullpens in the league, you know it's going to
be a fight, a battle. But we've been coming back all year.''

Conine started the 10th with a single off John Halama (2-1).
Marty Cordova then laid down a sacrifice bunt, and a wild throw to
first by Halama enabled the runners to move to second and third.

"It just sailed. It was just one of those things where the
throw took off,'' Halama said. "If I get that play it's probably a
whole different ballgame.''

After Brian Roberts entered as a pinch-runner for Conine,
Batista was given an intentional walk. Seattle manager Lou Piniella
brought left fielder Mark McLemore in as an extra infielder, but
Gil lofted a fly to Suzuki in right, and Roberts easily beat the
throw to the plate.

"We're looking for a ground ball, popup, a strikeout,''
Piniella said. "That ball was too deep, plus we had our outfielder
in. He didn't have any momentum coming in for the ball.''

Rick Bauer (3-2) pitched the 10th for the Orioles, who improved
to 5-0 in extra innings this season.

"This club battles real hard,'' Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove
said. "There are times, experience-wise, we don't match up. But in
terms of effort, mental toughness and determination, I don't know
of anybody who plays this game as hard as this ballclub.''

Mariners starter Jamie Moyer, vying for his 14th straight win
against his former team, left with a 5-3 lead in the sixth. But the
Seattle bullpen, which had gone 11 straight games without allowing
a run before Thursday, ended up blowing a four-run lead.

"Well, you can't do it every day,'' Piniella said. "We had a
lead and couldn't hold it. Our bullpen has been great, but that's
going to happen sometimes.''

The Orioles, who made up a 4-0 deficit in each of its previous
two games, pulled out of an even larger hole in this one.

Conine connected in the fourth to make it 5-1, and Baltimore
added a run in the fifth when Jerry Hairston singled and scored on
a two-out double by Gary Matthews Jr.

Batista chased Moyer with a solo homer in the sixth, and after
Seattle went up 7-3 in the seventh, Singleton hit a three-run shot
off Julio Mateo in the bottom half to bring the Orioles within a
run.

Baltimore completed the comeback in the eighth against Ryan
Franklin when Batista singled and scored on a double by Gil, who
was 0-for-14 against Seattle before his hit.

Travis Driskill, who limited the Mariners to one run in six
innings in his first major league start last Saturday, couldn't
produce a worthy encore. The 30-year-old rookie allowed five runs
and eight hits in six innings.

Seattle bolted to a 2-0 lead when Suzuki got a bunt single on
the first pitch of the game and Olerud homered with two outs.

The Mariners added three runs in the third. With the bases
loaded and two outs, Bret Boone hit a two-run single and Mike
Cameron followed with an RBI single.

Game notes
Seattle SS Carlos Guillen left in the fifth after being hit
in the wrist by a pitch while trying to bunt. He was replaced by
Desi Relaford. ... Singleton, who left Thursday's game due to heat
exhaustion, returned on an 88-degree night. ... Moyer was
attempting to become the first pitcher since Dave Stewart to beat
the same team 14 straight times. Stewart did it against Seattle
from 1986-90. ... Seattle fell to 4-1 in extra innings.