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M's 1st HR And Win At Safeco


The Seattle Mariners can hit the ball out of new Safeco Field.

Russ Davis hit the first home run in the Mariners' $517.6 million ballpark and Alex Rodriguez and Raul Ibanez added homers as Seattle beat the San Diego Padres 9-1 Saturday.

"It can be done," Davis said. "It was done today."

The Mariners broke a season-high, seven-game losing streak and got their first victory in their third game in their new stadium on a raw, 56-degree day. Because of the threat of rain, the retractable roof was closed for the second game in a row. The roof was open for Thursday night's opener.

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  • The homer onslaught, which accounted for seven of Seattle's runs, helped Freddy Garcia (10-5) become the first AL rookie to win 10 games.

    Chase Houston, 14, caught Davis' first homer. He traded the ball back to the Mariners to display in the team's museum and received various Mariners' souvenirs.

    "I was just kidding around telling everybody that you think they got a lot for Mark McGwire's ball (McGwire's 70th homer last season), let's see what they get for this one," Davis said with a smile.

    With the score tied at 1, Davis led off the bottom of the fifth inning with his 18th homer of the season, a 366-foot drive over the scoreboard in left field off Woody Williams (4-8).

    "The Kingdome obviously was a joke," Davis said of the team's former home, where home runs flew out with regularity. "The ball flew out of there because it nice and warm inside."

    "It's a little bit cooler out here and it's a little bit bigger in the gaps and center field. The ball's going to get out of here, but it's not going to be like it was over there."

    Lou Piniella said he likes managing the Mariners more at Safeco than he did in the Kingdome.

    "We've talked about this many times before," Piniella said. "We've been very one dimensional. Over here, if you hit the ball well, you're going to get rewarded. It's going to go out of the ballpark. If not, you've got to do the other things."

    After a walk to David Bell, Rodriuez hit an opposite-field shot barely over the right-field wall for his 19th homer to make it 3-1.

    Ibanez hit his first career grand slam off Carlos Reyes to cap a five-run seventh. It came after Ken Griffey Jr.'s second RBI single of the game.

    Griffey still is looking for his first homer at Safeco.

    "That won't be long," Ibanez said of Griffey's quest for his first homer at Safeco.

    The Mariners set a major league record by hitting 151 homers before the All-Star break. They played their last game in the cozy Kingdome June 27 and went homerless in their first two games at Safeco.

    Griffey, second to Tampa Bay's Jose Canseco with 29 homers, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs Saturday and was 4-for-11 his first series in his new home.

    Garcia beat San Diego for the second time this season. He gave up five hits, walked five and struck out seven in eight innings.

    "He's been tough on us, but not just us," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's got great stuff."

    Williams went 4 2-3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks.

    "You won't hold a good-hitting team like that (the Mariners) down for very long," Williams said, referring to San Diego's 3-2 and 2-1 wins in the first two games of the series.

    Notes:

  • When Davis hit the first homer at Safeco, he was the 191st batter at the new ballpark.
  • Garcia beat the Padres 4-1 in San Diego on June 6.
  • Williams has allowed 21 homers this season.
  • Williams' career record dropped to 0-5 against the Mariners.
  • Seattle's Tom Lampkin got the first triple in Safeco Field in the second.
  • San Diego got three more stolen bases, two by Veras, giving the Padres eight for the series.
  • Ibanez hit his fourth career homer and first of the season.
  • In their seven-game losing streak, the Mariners scored a total of 12 runs with five homers.
  • The Padres lost for the sixth time in 26 games since June 18.
  • The Mariners hit their first homer in their fifth game in the Kingdome on April 10, 1977. Juan Bernhardt homered off Frank Tanana of the Angels. Joe Rudi of the Angels homered in the first game at the Kingdome on April 6, 1977.

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

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