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Sexson has two homers, 5 RBI in M's debut

SEATTLE (AP) -- Two at-bats with his new club, two home runs for
Richie Sexson. If you'd have made that forecast to Seattle's
slugger a week ago, he wouldn't have thought it was possible.

Sexson homered twice and drove in five runs in his Seattle
debut, and 42-year-old Jamie Moyer pitched 5 2/3 strong innings
Monday to lead the Mariners to a season-opening 5-1 win over the
Minnesota Twins.

"Not exactly the way you envision it," Sexson said, smiling.
"To do something like that is a little farfetched."

Sexson, given a $50 million, four-year contract to join the
Mariners, hit a three-run homer in the first and added a two-run
drive in the third, both off loser Brad Radke.

"I never was a free agent, a big free agent especially," said
Seattle manager Mike Hargrove, who won his Mariners debut. "I'd
have to believe it's tough if you care at all. You don't want to
let down the people that signed you, or the people who came to see
you play."

Ichiro Suzuki led off the first with a single and Adrian Beltre
hit a one-out comebacker, but Radke was charged with an error on
his throw to second when he tried for the force. Sexson drove the
next pitch an estimated 358 feet over the hand-operated scoreboard
in left.

"I don't think it was a bad pitch to throw, but I needed better
location -- down and away. I put us in a hole early," Radke said.

Sexson made it 5-0 in the third with a 418-foot drive to the
deepest part of the park after Beltre's two-out single. All center
fielder Torii Hunter could do was watch as it skimmed over the
fence.

"It just scraped over the wall," Sexson said.

Sexson had a slow start with only two spring training homers,
but his bat was improving as camp closed. It didn't hurt that he
started against Radke, improving to 7-for-25 against him with three
homers and 12 RBI.

"He's gotten me out, as well," Sexson said. "He's made me
look silly. You saw what he did. He mixed up his pitches really
well today."

Moyer, trying to bounce back from a 7-13 season, got the win in
his second straight opening day start. He gave up five hits but the
only run he allowed was unearned, and he struck out four with no
walks, hitting one batter with a pitch.

"I had good location. When I missed, I didn't miss by a lot,"
said Moyer, the oldest opening day starter in the majors since
Charlie Hough worked Florida's opener in 1994 at age 46.

He worked his usual array of sinkers and changeups, and his
curveball was especially effective.

"He's been doing it for years," Hunter said. "He doesn't try
to strike you out, just keep you off balance and get you out. He
knows his game and does it well."

Moyer turned it over to Julio Mateo in the sixth, who combined
with Ron Villone and Eddie Guardado for 3 1-3 scoreless relief
innings. Guardado, slowed by a strained right hamstring during
spring training, pitched a perfect ninth.

"I was nervous," Guardado said. "My stomach was turning a
little bit. I felt good, felt like the old Eddie."

Minnesota, coming off its third straight AL Central title,
pulled to 5-1 in the fifth on Jason Bartlett's two-out RBI single.
Michael Cuddyer scored, but the run was unearned because he reached
on a blooper that resulted in a fielding error charged to Seattle
second baseman Bret Boone.

Radke made his seventh straight start on opening day, and his
club-record ninth. He worked seven innings, allowing five runs --
four earned -- on five hits with five strikeouts, but dropped to 0-3
at Safeco Field, the only AL park where Radke hasn't won.

"Radke settled down," Gardenhire said. "With the exception of
a couple of pitches to the big guy, that was it. They got us
early."

Opening Day was as festive as ever.

Suzuki and Boone were presented their Gold Glove awards from
last season, while Beltre received a Silver Slugger. There was a
video tribute to the 1995 Mariners, the first Seattle team to reach
the postseason.

But the biggest cheers came when former Mariners designated
hitter Edgar Martinez, who retired after last season following 17
years in Seattle, took the mound to toss the ceremonial first
pitch.

Game notes
Sexson became the ninth Mariner to homer in his first
at-bat wearing a Seattle uniform, but the first to do so in his
first two at-bats. ... The Twins are 0-3 in openers against
Seattle. ... After a drizzly, cold morning, fans cheered when the
roof was opened under mostly clear skies 20 minutes before the
first pitch. It was closed during with Seattle hitting in the
fourth. ... Mariners SS Wilson Valdez, who was waived by two other
teams last week, was hitless in three at-bats.