By RICK GANO
CHICAGO – Mike Cameron unnerved his former team with his speed, then Edgar Martinez and John Olerud provided the power for the Seattle Mariners.
Martinez hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning after Cameron’s stolen base, and Olerud followed with a home run as Seattle beat the Chicago White Sox 7-4 in the opener of their AL playoff series today.
The consecutive homers came off Chicago relief ace Keith Foulke, who’d surrendered just nine home runs all season in 88 innings.
Cameron, traded away by the White Sox two years ago to Cincinnati and acquired by the Mariners in the Ken Griffey Jr. deal this February, singled to start the 10th.
Alex Rodriguez popped out before Cameron, once projected as the White Sox’s next star, was nearly picked off first.
After manager Lou Piniella came out of the dugout and talked to him, Cameron stole second two pitches later.
Martinez, who led the AL with 145 RBIs and had a career-high 37 homers, hit a two-run homer to left field to silence a crowd of 45,290 that came to see the White Sox’s first playoff appearance in seven years. Olerud followed with a long shot to center.
Jose Mesa, who escaped a jam in the White Sox ninth, was the winning pitcher and Kazuhiro Sasaki pitched the 10th for the save. Foulke took the loss.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series will be Wednesday at Chicago.
Seattle won eight of its final nine road games in the regular season, including a win over Anaheim on the last day to clinch the wild card.
The White Sox, who led the majors in scoring and had the best record in baseball, stranded nine runners.
Charles Johnson, the only White Sox player with a World Series ring, led off the bottom of the ninth with a bloop single. Two outs later, Jose Mesa intentionally walked Frank Thomas and retired Magglio Ordonez on a fly ball with runners at first and second.
Foulke, who saved 34 games this season, had given up just one run in his previous 14 2-3 innings of the regular season.
Cameron hit a two-out, bases-loaded single in the seventh to tie it at 4. David Bell was thrown out by right fielder Ordonez trying to score from second on the hit, ending the inning.
Ray Durham homered and Chris Singleton and Ordonez had RBI triples as the White Sox took a 4-3 lead after falling behind early 3-0.
Durham’s homer to left-center off Freddy Garcia tied the game in the third.
Chicago loaded the bases in the fourth to drive out Garcia before reliever Brett Tomko retired Jose Valentin and Thomas on short fly balls. It was that kind of day for the White Sox, who couldn’t provide the big hit when they needed it.
The Mariners jumped on Chicago starter Jim Parque for a pair of first-inning runs. Rickey Henderson grounded a single to right leading off. Cameron was hit by a pitch and then Rodriguez – who had three hits – dropped a soft single to right for a 1-0 lead.
Olerud’s grounder made it 2-0. Joe Oliver homered leading off the second for a 3-0 lead.
But the White Sox, who scored 978 runs during the season got two back in the bottom half, thanks to the speed of Singleton.
Paul Konerko walked and out out later Singleton hit a line drive to right that went over Jay Buhner’s head as he was falling down for a triple.
When Garcia threw a wild pitch between Oliver’s legs, Singleton raced home as Oliver fumbled the ball trying to relay it to Garcia who was covering the plate.
Parque, pushed into the starter’s role when Mike Sirotka needed an extra day to rest his sore elbow, survived a shaky start. He went six innings, allowing three runs and six hits and retiring the final 10 batters he faced.
Seattle jumped on reliever Bob Howry in the seventh, loading the bases on Bell’s double and two walks. Cameron, the White Sox’s 18th-round pick in the 1991 draft, greeted Chad Bradford with a tying single before Ordonez made his strong throw to the plate.
Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing email@example.com or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.