M’s knock the Sox off

  • KIRBY ARNOLD / Herald Writer
  • Friday, October 6, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Seattle sweeps into the American League Championship Series


Herald Writer

SEATTLE — Before their champagne celebration in the clubhouse and their curtain call to a record crowd, the Seattle Mariners broke out a little Baseball 101 at Safeco Field.

On one of the most basic plays in the game — a bunt — the Mariners scored one of their most dramatic victories.

Carlos Guillen’s squeeze bunt with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in the winning run in a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday, giving the Mariners a three-game sweep of their American League Division Series.

Guillen, who had sat the bench for the first 27 1/2 innings of the three-game series, drove home Rickey Henderson from third base when he dragged a bunt past White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas.

"A perfect, perfect bunt," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "It was a great ballgame."

The three-game sweep of the White Sox propelled the Mariners into the American League Championship Series next week against either the Oakland A’s or New York Yankees.

The first game of the ALCS will begin at 5 p.m. (PDT) Tuesday at New York or Oakland. The Mariners will host Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Saturday in the best-of-seven series, and a fifth game on Sunday if the series is still going.

The Mariners have won dramatically before. Their Game 5 victory in the 1995 Division Series over New York remains the franchise standard in heroics, when Edgar Martinez’s double scored Ken Griffey Jr. with the winning run in the Kingdome.

That was an era of M’s baseball when they depended on home runs to carry the most clout.

Friday’s victory, before a Safeco Field record crowd of 48,010, was delivered with the same textbook execution that the 2000 Mariners have displayed all season.

With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, John Olerud hit a line drive back to the mound that struck pitcher Kelly Wunsch in the midsection. Wunsch picked up the ball but threw wildly to first, allowing Olerud to reach second with nobody out. Pinella then sent in Henderson to pinch run for Olerud.

The White Sox brought in reliever Keith Foulke, who started his pro career with the Everett Giants. Stan Javier dropped a sacrifice bunt that moved Henderson to third with one out and the White Sox walked David Bell. Guillen, pinch-hitting for catcher Joe Oliver, stepped into the batter’s box knowing a long fly ball or a hard-hit grounder between the infielders would get the winning run home.

Instead, on instructions from Piniella, Guillen dragged a bunt beyond the reach of Thomas. Henderson easily scored and a long celebration began.

It started in shallow right field, where Guillen’s teammates caught up with him, and moved into the clubhouse, where players’ lockers were covered with sheets of plastic to shield their belongings from champagne.

The Mariners raced back onto the field for a salute to their fans, with center fielder Mike Cameron leading the party. At one point he put a foam "M" on his head, and later he climbed the outfield fence to salute the crowd.

Later, he basked in the warmth of a close-knit group of players who beat the American League’s most successful team in the regular season.

"Look around here," Cameron said as players sprayed champagne on each other. "This is what we all fight for. In spring training, we were all new to each other, looking around at each other. But we took hold of each other.

"To come this far is like a dream come true for me. I just hope I can continue it."

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (33) walks off the field during minicamp Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at the NFL football team's facilities in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Seahawks safety Adams doing ‘everything’ to get his leg ‘right’

Plus other notes as Seattle wraps its three-day minicamp.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Darrell Taylor (52) walk off the field after an NFL football practice, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, team's facilities in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
How Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett has evolved on and off the field

The almost 31-year-old is fighting ‘old age,’ but don’t expect a drop in production anytime soon.

Empty seats are shown at Husky Stadium during an NCAA college football game between Washington and Oregon State, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Seattle. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were not permitted to attend the game. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
State football title games moving to Husky Stadium for ’23 season

The WIAA announced Tuesday a one-year agreement with the University of Washington to host the games for the upcoming season.

Collin Morikawa, hits to the 13th green during the first round of the Memorial golf tournament, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Commentary: PGA Tour merger with LIV a vile act of hypocrisy

The PGA is joining forces with its moral enemy whose presence has been constantly condemned by every Tour member with a soapbox.

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker celebrates a touchdown with teammates after putting his team up against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
2022-23 Herald Athletic Cup: Lake Stevens captures 1st place

The Vikings win the competition, which rewards local high schools for their overall athletic success, for the second straight year.

Late homers lift AquaSox to win over Canadians

Randy Bednar and Blake Rambusch hit key late-inning blasts and Everett holds off Vancouver 5-4.

Giants pitcher Ryan Walker, an Arlington High School graduate, works against the Pirates during the sixth inning of a game on May 30 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Arlington graduate Walker reaches big leagues with Giants

The WSU alum was drafted in 2018 and has since climbed the minor-league ladder until his promotion to the majors on May 21.

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) and safety Jamal Adams (33) talk during NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at the team's facilities in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
5 things to watch during Seahawks’ mandatory minicamp

The camp is only three days long, but some clarity could arise on a number of issues.

AquaSox bullpen falters in 9th in loss to Canadians

Everett carries a two-run lead into the final inning, but a late grand slam lifts Vancouver to an 8-5 win.

Most Read