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Athletics Streak Past Mariners 5-2

Mike Oquist won his duel with Ken Griffey Jr. three straight times. Griffey got his revenge the fourth time, though it came too late to save the Seattle Mariners.

Griffey hit his 26th homer to spoil Oquist's bid for his first career shutout, but Oquist still got his fourth straight win as the Oakland Athletics defeated Seattle 5-2 Thursday night.

Oquist had a shutout until two outs in the eighth, when Griffey slammed a two-run homer to left-center. It was the seventh homer in 10 games for Griffey, who leads the AL in home runs.

"You always take the win. I'd have liked the shutout, but Junior had something else to say about that," Oquist said.

Oquist (4-3) allowed two runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings, striking out six and not walking a batter. His biggest out came when he got Griffey to hit into a double play in the first after the first two Mariners had singled.

"I took my eye off it, and pulled off it a little bit," Griffey said. "He throws in and out, he kept the ball out of the strike zone and made us swing at bad pitches. He pitched a good game."

Oquist said that double play turned the game around, and A's manager Art Howe agreed.

"When he got out of the first inning without them scoring, he got a little momentum going and was in control after that," Howe said.

Rickey Henderson had an RBI double and stole two bases as the A's broke a two-game losing streak and knocked the Mariners into last place in the AL West, a game behind Oakland. Seattle has lost five of six.

Scott Spiezio and Mike Blowers added RBI singles for Oakland, Mike Macfarlane had a sacrifice fly and another A's run scored on a double play.

After getting Griffey to hit into the double play, Oquist struck out David Segui to end the first. Griffey popped out leading off the fourth.

Alex Rodriguez doubled leading off the Seattle sixth, but Oquist got Griffey to fly out and then retired Segui on a grounder and Edgar Martinez on a fly ball.

But Griffey got his revenge in the eighth. His homer went about 425 feet and knocked Oquist out of the game. It was the 105th homer this season for Seattle, which leads the majors.

Segui and Martinez then singled off Mike Fetters, but Bill Taylor got Jay Buhner potentially the tying run on a grounder to end the inning. Taylor also pitched the ninth for his 11th save.

Buhner went 1-for-4 for Seattle in his first game since April 6. Buhner, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late April, was activated before the game.

"He had some good swings. He looked good at the plate for being out six weeks," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "He keeps that approach, he'll help us soon."

Jeff Fassero (5-3) allowed five runs on sevehits for the Mariners, who are 0-6 against AL West foes this season.


  • Henderson took over the AL lead in stolen bases when he stole third in the fifth inning, his 24th steal of the season. He added his 25th steal when he stole second in the seventh inning. He began the night tied with Tom Goodwin of Texas for the league lead with 23 steals.
  • Oquist matched his career high of four victories, set last year.
  • Griffey has 15 RBIs in his last 12 games.
  • Oquist has a 3-0 career mark against Seattle.
  • Griffey tied Lance Parrish for 65th on the career homer list with 320.

    ©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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