TORONTO (AP) -- Edgar Martinez can't figure out why he hits so
well against one of the toughest pitchers in the league.
Martinez continued his torrid hitting against Kelvim Escobar,
hitting a three-run homer and dri. ving in four runs as the Seattle
Mariners won their 2000th game with a 9-1 victory over the Toronto
Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Martinez went 2-for-3 off Escobar, raising his career average
against him to .520 (13-for-25).
"I really don't know how to explain it. It's one of those
things where every time I swing I find holes," Martinez said.
"It's not easy. He's got great stuff. He throws pretty much
everything for strikes -- all six pitches."
The 40-year-old designated hitter went 4-for-5 in the game,
raising his season average to .311. His 22nd homer gave Seattle a
4-1 lead in the fifth.
"I don't think anybody in the league hits me the way he hits
me," Escobar said. "There's always going to be a guy."
Escobar (9-7) lost for the first time since July 17 -- a span of
seven starts. The 27-year-old right-hander, who is eligible for
free agency after the season, allowed five runs on eight hits in
six innings. Escobar's agent is in Toronto this week attempting to
negotiate a new contract with general manager J.P. Ricciardi.
"I know J.P. and my agent are going to get something done soon,
but I don't know what's going to happen," Escobar said.
Bret Boone homered and reached base four times for the Mariners,
who remained four games ahead of second-place Oakland in the AL
West. The Athletics beat Boston 3-2.
The Mariners have an overall record of 2000-2212.
"I would say the last seven or eight years it's been good for
our franchise," said Martinez, who is in his 17th season with
Seattle. "I've been with the team for a long time. I was with the
team when we had losing records, and now it's more satisfying to
play and to see the success."
Boone's 31st homer, a two-run shot off Dan Reichert in the
seventh, made it 7-1. Boone went 3-for-4 and was hit by a pitch.
The Blue Jays have lost three straight, falling to three games
below .500 for the first time since May 15.
Seattle starter Ryan Franklin (9-10) rebounded from one of his
worst starts of the season, allowing one run on five hits while
striking out two and walking three in six innings. He allowed six
runs in just 3 2-3 innings in a 13-6 win over Toronto last
Boone singled in the first, stole second and scored on
Martinez's RBI single.
Carlos Delgado's single in the third tied it at 1.
Willie Bloomquist and Boone hit singles in the fifth before
Jeff Cirillo, who replaced an injured Bloomquist in the fifth,
hit an RBI single in the sixth, giving Seattle a 5-1 lead.
Toronto third baseman Eric Hinske's throwing error allowed two
runs to score in the ninth.
The Mariners activated Cirillo from the 15-day disabled
list. Cirillo entered the game after Bloomquist left with a tight
right quadriceps muscle. ... The Blue Jays and SkyDome took steps
Tuesday to comply with Ontario's request for reduced power
consumption. Everyone in Ontario is being asked to conserve power
to avoid overloading a system that is still recovering from last
week's blackout. SkyDome's Jumbotron, normally activated at 5 p.m.,
wasn't turned on until 6:45 p.m. The Blue Jays also didn't use air
conditioning in SkyDome's seating area. The roof opened earlier
than usual to allow for cooling in the seating area. The use of
in-stadium lights was also minimized and many elevators were shut