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M's Hand Jays 7th Straight


Lou Piniella, known for his ranting and raving on the field, showed his soft side after getting his 1,000th career win.

Jay Buhner hit a two-run homer as the Mariners sent the Toronto Blue Jays to their seventh straight loss, 5-1 Wednesday.

After the game, Ken Griffey Jr. and a few other Mariners sneaked up on their manager and poured champagne on his head.

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  • "I got some champagne dunked on me, and I got a little emotional and thanked the team," Piniella said. "I didn't think I would, but I did."

    Piniella (1,000-926) became the 18th manager in major league history with 1,000 wins and 1,000 hits. He is 521-502 with the Mariners.

    "I'm proud of it, but at the same time in a humble way," Piniella said. "I want to thank all the organizations that I managed for, and I want to thank all the players that played for me."

    The milestone win made him think of his first win and his mentor, Billy Martin.

    "I remember my first game in New York against Kansas City, Butch Wynegar hit a homer in the eighth inning to win it for us," Piniella said. "And Billy's the one that got me prepared for this. You can see I picked up a few of his habits."

    Griffey said Piniella waited until he got into his office before getting emotional.

    "That's just him, he cares about what he does," Griffey said. "He cares about his team. It's not just a job, he cares about each person in here and you know where you stand with him."

    Seattle, which completed a three-game sweep, has won seven of nine to reach .500 (60-60). Toronto, on its longest losing streak this season, began the day 2 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race.

    "The win got us to back to .500, it culminated with a good road trip for us and I know it will make tomorrow a much more enjoyable off-day, Piniella said.

    David Wells (11-8), who missed his previous start because of a stiff back, gave up five runs four earned and nine hits in eight innings. Blue Jays starters are 0-6 on the homestand, allowing 32 earned runs in 30 innings.

    "We have to regroup," Wells said. "We can't just hang our heads and say it's over with."

    Piniella got his first win when Seattle rookie Freddy Garcia was just 3 years old. Garcia (12-7) allowed the one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. After Garcia loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, Steve Sinclair relieved and struck out Willie Greene.

    Jose Paniagua relieved with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, escaped the jam and finished for his third save.

    Buhner, just 7-for-46 against Wells coming in, connected in the second for his 11th homer. The Mariners made it 5-0 in the third on consecutive doubles by Brian Hunter and David Bell, and RBI singles Griffey and Edgar Martinez.

    "Lou's win was special for all of us," Buhner said. "It was nice to be a big part of that."

    Notes

  • Piniella won 224 games with the Yankees (1996-1998), 255 with Cincinnati (1990-92) and has 520 with Seattle (1993-current).
  • Shannon Stewart extended his career high hitting streak to 17 games.
  • Toronto manager Jim Fregosi sent struggling right-hander Kelvim Escobar to the bullpen and replacing him with Roy Halladay. Fregosi also juggled his rotation, pushing back Pat Hentgen two days.

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

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