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Griffey's HR Lifts Mariners

Pat Hentgen continued what has become a disturbing trend for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Hentgen gave up two homers to Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr. hit his league-leading 37th as the Seattle Mariners beat Toronto 8-5 Tuesday night, extending the Blue Jays' losing streak to a season-high six.

The Blue Jays are 0-5 on their current homestand largely because their starters have given up 28 earned runs in just 22 innings over the last five games.

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Game Summary

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  • "Our starting pitching has been disappointing this season," Toronto manager Jim Fregosi said. "It was supposed to be one of our strengths coming out of spring training."

    Hentgen (7-10) lost his third straight start as he gave up seven runs on nine hits in six innings for the Blue Jays, who remained 2 1/2 games behind Boston, which lost to Oakland 12-1 Tuesday night, in the AL wild-card race.

    Hentgen could not get out Griffey or Martinez, who were a combined 5-for-42 against him.

    "I never hit him well," Martinez said. "He's always been tough on me and a lot of our guys. We just had a good game against him. He left some pitches up."

    Martinez, 2-for-4 with four RBIs, hit a three-run homer to left off Hentgen in the first for the Mariners, who have won six of eight.

    One out after Griffey homered, a two-run shot in the third, Martinez hit his 18th homer, a solo shot to right, to give Seattle a 6-1 lead.

    "It takes the wind out of your sails when you give up three runs in the first. It forces you to play catch up," Hentgen said. "Edgar hit a good pitch on the three-run homer in the first, and I threw Griffey a changeup and I never do that to him."

    Alex Rodriguez's streak of consecutive games with a home run was stopped at five, three short of the record held by Griffey (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956).

    Paul Abbott (4-0), who retired 11 straight before Willie Greene's solo homer chased him in the seventh, gave up four runs on five hits, struck out a career-high nine and walked one in 6 1-3 innings.

    Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 27th save.

    The Blue Jays cut it to 6-3 and loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but Seattle manager Lou Piniella went to the mound to talk to Abbott, who escaped the jam on the next pitch by getting Carlos Delgado to hit a grounder to first.

    "Lou asked me how I felt, and I said I was all right and he said `Well, I'm not,"' Abbott said. "So I tried to accommodate him, and make him feel better."

    Delgado went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Homer Bush and Greene hit solo homers for Toronto.

    Ryan Jackson's RBI double in the eighth made it 8-4.


  • Martinez was just 3-for-19 against Hentgen, and Griffey was just 2-for-23.
  • Rodriguez went 1-for-5.
  • It was the third two-homer game for Martinez, and the 17th of his career. He has 19 multihomer games in his career.
  • Griffey hit his 14th career homer at SkyDome. Only Cecil Fielder and Jose Canseco, who both hit 16, have more homers as an opponent at SkyDome.
  • Before the game, Fregosi talked about the lack of quality pitching in baseball, and how he dealt with the problem while he was manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. "In Philadelphia, I was cheating. I had the mound up high, we were leading the league in pitching, but the hitters complained to the general manager and they lowered the mound," Fregosi said.
  • Opponents are hitting .419 (52-for-124) off Hentgen in the first inning.
  • Shannon Stewart extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
  • Tony Batista's 17-game hitting streak came to an end.

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