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Mariners Fly Over D'Backs

Jeff Fassero forgot how exhausting running the bases is.

Fassero pitched 6 2-3 strong innings before tiring and Alex Rodriguez hit his 27th homer as the Seattle Mariners beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 on Saturday night.

"I had forgotten what it was like to be on the basepaths in the National League, especially late in the game," said Fassero, who had a season-high nine strikeouts. "When I went back out there in the seventh and started throwing, my legs were a little wobbly."

Fassero (6-5) allowed two runs and seven hits, including Yamil Benitez's 452-foot solo shot into the second deck in the second inning. He snapped a personal three-game losing streak.

Ken Griffey Jr., who strained his left hamstring the previous night, was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. The center fielder left Seattle's 13-8 loss Friday night in the sixth when he hurt himself chasing a long fly ball.

Griffey, who leads the AL with 31 homers, has started all 81 of Seattle's games this season.

"He went out there and gutted it out," Seattle manager Lou Piniella said.

Heathcliff Slocumb pitched the ninth for his third save, allowing the final run to score on David Dellucci's RBI single.

Rodriguez, who was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, hit a two-run homer in the ninth. Russ Davis had a solo shot, his 12th, in the second inning.

"I thought Andy pitched well, but we made some mistakes and it did cost us," Arizona manager Buck Showalter said.

Rob Ducey had two hits, including an RBI double off Andy Benes (6-8) in Seattle's two-run seventh. Joey Cora added an RBI single in the inning to give the Mariners a 4-2 lead.

"We had some clutch hitting even though we left some guys stranded, myself included," Rodriguez said.

Benitez, who went 3-for-4, drove in all three Arizona runs. His RBI single off Mike Timlin in the eighth cut Seattle's lead to 4-3, but the Diamondbacks left the bases loaded when Timlin got Tony Batista to groundout.

Benitez tied it at 1 in the second with his 452-foot homer, the longest home run at Bank One Ballpark. The ball landed on the patio of the restaurant overlooking the field.

Benitez's RBI single in the fourth gave Arizona a 2-1 lead.

The Mariners tied it in the sixth on Rodriguez's infield hit.

Benes allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits in seven innings. He struck out a season-high eight and walked one.

"I felt like I pitched really solid," Benes said. "I'm not going to blame the fielding. We could have gotten some more runs."

Notes: Arizona placed infielder Andy Stankiewicz on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 24 because of a cyst in his right knee. Stankiewicz, who was hitting .196 in 49 games, had arthroscopic surgery n the knee in spring training and started the season on the DL. The Diamondbacks filled the roster spot with right-hander Aaron Small, who was claimed off waivers from Oakland on Friday. ... Benes has pitched at least six innings in 16 of his 18 starts. ... Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Benitez is 11-for-21 with three home runs in his last six starts.

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

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