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Buhner Blasts M's Over ChiSox


It was a wild day for Seattle's Jay Buhner.

Not only did he make both spectacular and terrible defensive plays in Monday night's 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox, he also hit a record-setting, game-winning grand slam.

Buhner's sixth-inning slam was a record fifth in the majors Monday, helping the Mariners snap a five-game losing streak. Buhner was unaware that he helped make history.

"I did?" Buhner asked when told of the record. "Right on. That's cool."

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Game Summary

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  • In the third inning, Buhner dropped a routine fly ball. In the same inning, he caught a similar high fly and jokingly tipped his hat to the Safeco Field crowd for his not-so-impressive accomplishment.

    "This game is fun, and you have to enjoy yourself," Buhner said. "Yes I clanked it, but it all ended up OK. No one got hurt."

    Buhner was 0-for-4 with the bases loaded this season before connecting against John Snyder (9-7) to give the Mariners a 6-3 lead.

    "I just tried to concentrate on shortening up my stride, and driving the ball up the middle," Buhner said. "It was a fastball over the middle of the plate, and I was able to do what I was trying to do. I hit it up the middle."

    He hit it 411 feet over the wall in center field.

    "I love how in this game you are a goat one minute, and then you can become the hero in the next minute."

    Buhner's shot capped a day of slams in the majors. Four grand slams had been hit in one day many times, the last coming July 28, 1998.

    Snyder gave up two runs and three hits in the first inning, but did not allow another hit until the sixth as the White Sox lost their fifth straight.

    Ken Griffey Jr. walked with one out and singles by Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez loaded the bases. Buhner followed with his eighth career slam on a 3-1 pitch.

    "It was a nightmare inning," Snyder said. "I felt I had good control. It just kind of stinks that the game has to come down to just a few pitches. That's the breaks."

    Gil Meche (3-2) struggled with his control early, walking four, but did not let the White Sox have a big inning.

    "It was a rough day for me," Meche said. "I had good stuff in the first and then I fell apart. It's a good thing that we have a good offense behind me because I needed it."

    The 20-year-old rookie gave up three hits and three runs in six innings. In his previous outing, Meche allowed four runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings against Tampa Bay.

    "They had a couple of guys on base and I looked back to the bullpen and saw a guy throwing," Meche said. "I didn't know how I was going to get out of it, but I wasn't going to let that happen again."

    Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 24th save.

    The Mariners got on the board in the first when Martinez hit a two-run double off the left-center wall, scoring John Mabry and Rodriguez. Martinez went 3-for-4.

    After a two-out walk to Paul Konerko in the second, Greg Norton sent an 0-1 pitch into the right-field seats to tie the game at 2. Meche then walked the next two batters before Ray Durham ended the inning with a deep flyout to center.

    "I threw him a changeup," Meche said of Norton's blast. "It was the only one I threw the entire night."

    Chris Singleton led off the third with a double and scored on Frank Thomas' RBI single to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.

    "It was a good ballgame," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "When we got in trouble, we weren't able to keep the ball in the park. In that one inning, boom. It wasn't a sacrifice fly. It's not a base hit. It's a home run. Now we have to shuffle to get back into the game."

    Notes

  • The Mariners have hit eight grand slams this season.
  • It was Buhner's first slam since April 28, 1996.
  • All three of Meche's wins are at Safeco Field.
  • Martinez is 9-for-21 (.429) against Chicago. Durham was ejected in the seventh for coming out of the dugout and arguing with home plate umpire Marty Foster.
  • Chicago SS Mike Caruso, who walked only 22 times in his first 228 career games (940 plate appearances) walked three times.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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