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Orioles' Late Comeback Stops Mariners

June 01, 2002|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles accomplished what no team had done this season: defeat 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 had been 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.

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

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."

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