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Rickey Passes Ruth In M's Win

Rickey Henderson, known for better speed than Babe Ruth if not power, was glad to have his name linked with the Bambino's on Sunday.

Henderson passed Ruth on the career hits list and scored the go-ahead run after his eighth-inning triple as the the Seattle Mariners beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3.

"Anytime you pass one of the great guys that played the game and opened the doors for us to go out there and have something to shoot for, it's just a great feeling," Henderson said. "You just want to be affiliated with them"

Henderson was 3-for-5, moving into 35th place with 2,875 hits, two more than Ruth. His first-inning double gave him 477, moving past Zack Wheat into 50th place on that list.

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Game Summary

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  • "It's just a tremendous milestone," Seattle manager Lou Piniella said. "When you start talking about Babe Ruth in the pecking order of baseball immortals, it goes to show you what a great career Rickey's had. He should be very proud of it, and I'm sure he is."

    With the score 3-3, Henderson opened the eighth with an opposite-field triple off Russ Springer (2-3), a drive that fell under the glove of right fielder Jason Conti and rolled into foul territory.

    Mark McLemore walked and Henderson scored on Mike Cameron's grounder, easily beating the throw from second baseman Jay Bell.

    "I said, `I'm going to make sure it goes to the middle this time, and hen I'm going to take off,' " said Henderson, who was thrown out at home on a grounder to third in the first inning. "But the ball went to the second baseman. It was exciting, because we were saying, `We need another run.' That was a big run."

    Dan Plesac relieved and forced in a run with walks to John Olerud and Stan Javier. Henderson added an RBI single in the ninth off Matt Mantei.

    Jose Mesa (3-5) pitched a perfect seventh, Arthur Rhodes had a 1-2-3 eighth and Kazuhiro Sasaki finished for his 21st save in 23 chances.

    "We haven't been scoring runs like we normally have," manager Buck Showalter said. "We have a better track record, and hopefully we'll follow that."

    Arizona's Nelson Figueroa, making his third major league start, allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.

    "It's kind of tough to be a fill-in right now," said Figueroa, called up Sunday from Triple-A Tucson. "Especially when you know that, given the opportunity, you could do better. It's kind of like having a one-game audition."

    Seattle's Paul Abbott gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings.

    Arizona went ahead in the second on Conti's RBI triple, but Seattle took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on Javier's sacrifice fly and Joe Oliver's two-run homer.

    "I went up with two outs and got a slider on the inner-half part of the plate," Oliver said. "I put a good swing on it, and I was just glad to get something going. You know, the ballclub is out here playing two guys short (Edgar Martinez) and (Alex Rodriguez)."

    Figueroa singled in the fifth, his first hit in three major league at-bats, and scored on Bell's RBI groundout after he reached third on an error on Tony Womack's infield single. Luis Gonzalez followed with a game-tying single.

    Notes

  • Martinez, who doesn't start in interleague games, struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, ending a 13-game hitting streak.
  • Arizona's Damian Miller was 1-for-4, ending his streak of four consecutive two-hit games.
  • The Mariners are 10-6 against the NL; the Diamondbacks are 5-8 against the AL.
  • Seattle scratched Gil Meche as Monday's starter and replaced him with John Halama.

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