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It's Crash Davis as Seattle Beats A's

Catcher knocks over his Oakland counterpart to score, and Suzuki drives in five in 9-3 win.

September 21, 2003|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — Ben Davis saw the plate and nothing else. He charged home, knocked down the catcher and umpire and scored for Seattle.

The Mariners are set on making the American League West interesting until the very end -- even if they have to run over people to do it.

Ichiro Suzuki had four hits and drove in a career-high five runs Saturday, and Bret Boone added three hits and two RBIs as Seattle beat the first-place Oakland Athletics for the second straight day, 9-3.

"This is a great opportunity for us to jump up, stand up and be heard," Seattle's Mike Cameron said.

Oakland's division lead dropped to three games over Seattle, and the A's magic number to win the West remained five. Any combination of A's wins and Mariner losses totaling five would give Oakland its second straight division title.

Seattle cut Boston's wild-card lead to 1 1/2 games after the Red Sox lost, 13-4, at Cleveland.

"We're desperate," Davis said. "It's a good time to be greedy. No one wants to go home at the end of the season."

The Mariners scored both of their sixth-inning runs with hard home-plate collisions that made it tough for the A's to make a play. Mike Wood threw a wild pitch that allowed Cameron to come home from third, and Seattle's center fielder ran into the pitcher at the plate after Wood failed to control an errant throw from catcher Ramon Hernandez.

Minutes later, Davis leveled Hernandez and knocked the ball from his hands to score. Umpire Joe West even fell over on that one.

Hernandez left the game two innings later with a bruised right elbow, but Manager Ken Macha said he believed the catcher would play today in the series finale.

Cameron and pitcher Joel Pineiro fought to be the first ones to reach Davis and offer their congratulations for making such a clutch play. It gave the Mariners momentum.

"That's big Ben," Suzuki said. "That type of play proved we are into the game and it gives us more enthusiasm."

Said Cameron: "Ben Davis, hats off to him. That's like my ultimate dream, to erupt the crowd. That was nice."

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Davis said he was trying to lower his body to avoid getting injured, and he didn't see West in his way.

"I just tried to get a little lower ... and go for the brunt," Davis said. "It's not my intent to hurt anybody. I was just zoning everything out to try to score runs.

"That symbolizes what we were doing early in the year -- playing good, hard, aggressive baseball."

Pineiro (15-11) calmly worked out of jams to win for only the second time in nine starts. After giving up a leadoff walk to Eric Byrnes in the fifth, Pineiro retired the next nine Oakland batters.

Suzuki's two-run single in the fourth gave him 200 hits for the third straight season, and his other three hits were doubles.

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