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M's Squeak By Mussina, O's


Mike Mussina had no complaints with how he pitched. It's the result of the game that he would want to change.

Mussina allowed no hits in the first five innings before Seattle broke through with one run in the sixth and two in the eighth for a 3-1 victory Sunday.

"I don't think there's anything I could do differently," Mussina said. "It's a funny game. Look at how we scored. Lose two balls in the sun in the same inning."

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  • Russ Davis doubled to lead off the sixth inning the first hit off Mussina (13-6) and later scored on a sacrifice fly by David Bell to tie the game at 1.

    The Mariners added two more in the eighth, thanks to some shoddy defense by the Orioles. John Mabry doubled to lead off the inning on a ball that diving center fielder Rich Amaral could not quite get to.

    Dan Wilson attempted to sacrifice Mabry to third. Third baseman Jeff Conine threw it past Delino DeShields allowing Mabry to score from second and Wilson to go to second. Wilson was credited with a single.

    Russ Davis sacrificed Wilson to third. On an attempted suicide squeeze by Brian Hunter, Wilson stole home plate. The pitch went in the dirt and got five feet away from catcher Charles Johnson.

    "I don't know if I'd call that a true steal of hom," said Wilson, the Mariners' catcher. "It was a little cheap, but we'll take it."

    Paul Abbott (2-0) got the victory with two innings of scoreless relief. Jose Mesa got his third save of the series and for the 22nd time in 25 opportunities.

    Mussina pitched a gem, but lost to the Mariners for the second time this season after winning seven straight decisions against Seattle. He allowed three hits and two walks and struck out eight in eight innings. Mussina pitched his fourth complete game of the season.

    "Mussina's been tough on us in the past as everybody knows," Seattle manager Lou Piniella said.

    "It is tough to take," Mussina said. "But I don't think it comes close to what (Arizona's) Randy Johnson had to go through for five or six outings. That was probably the toughest month he's ever had to play."

    The Orioles left a dozen men on base, including seven in the first four innings. Five of Mussina's six defeats have been by two runs or less.

    "Moose should be 16-3 or 17-2," teammate Will Clark said. "We couldn't get a clutch two-out base hit."

    The Mariners swept the series and won their fourth in a row.

    The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the sixth as Seattle's nine-time Gold Glove center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. lost two balls in the sun. Both were ruled hits.

    "If Junior can't catch it, you know it's brutal," Piniella said. "If you play outdoors, you're going to get some of that."

    With one out, Harold Baines hit a fly to center that Griffey let fall in front him. Charles Johnson singled Baines to third and DeShields followed with a single to score Baines.

    The Orioles loaded the bases when Reboulet's fly ball to center was missed by Griffey in the sunlight.

    Fassero struck out Amaral and Mike Bordick to end the Baltimore sixth.

    Fassero allowed one run and eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven. The veteran left-hander was expected to be dealt by the Mariners before Saturday night's trading deadline, but Seattle could not work out a trade.

    "I'm not. Are you guys?" Fassero said when asked if he was surprised he was still in Seattle. "Reading all the papers, you guys said there wasn't nothing worth trading for me."

    The Orioles were without Cal Ripken, who was scratched from the lineup just before the gam because of back stiffness. Ripken was on the disabled list for the first time in his career this season because of a nerve irritation in his lower back.

    Ripken is one home run shy of 400 and 32 hits short of 3,000.

    Notes:

  • The Orioles purchased the contract of RHP Jim Corsi, 37, from Triple-A Rochester to fill Juan Guzman's spot. Corsi spent most of the first half of the season at Boston, where he had a 5.25 ERA in 23 relief appearances. Guzman was traded Saturday night to Cincinnati along with an undisclosed amount of cash for minor-league pitching prospects B.J. Ryan and Jacobo Sequea.
  • Fassero made his second straight start without allowing a home run. He leads the majors with 30 homers surrendered.
  • Mussina is 10-3 against Seattle lifetime.
  • Wilson stole home for the first time for the Mariners since Alex Rodriguez did it at Tampa Bay May 30, 1998.
  • The Mariners swept Baltimore in Seattle in a three-game series for the first time ever.

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

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