By KIRBY ARNOLD
SEATTLE — With the conviction of a man who had gotten the only hit of the game off Roger Clemens, the Seattle Mariners’ Al Martin was thinking of a much more important swing.
The Mariners, after a 5-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday, need a huge momentum shift in the American League Championship Series. The Mariners must win three straight games to take the series, and Martin says it’s possible.
"Absolutely," the Mariners’ starting left fielder said without hesitation. "They just won three in row. We can do it, too."
Maybe the Mariners’ confidence comes from the fact they won’t face Clemens any more. The 38-year-old right-hander was at his best Saturday night at Safeco Field.
He pitched the second one-hitter in League Championship Series history and struck out an ALCS-record 15 hitters. It gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 5 today at Safeco Field.
If the Mariners win, the series will move to New York for Game 6 on Tuesday and Game 7, if necessary, on Wednesday. The ALCS winner will advance to the World Series against either the St. Louis Cardinals or New York Mets.
The Mariners did their best to put Saturday’s conquest by Clemens out of their minds.
"That’s the best I’ve ever seen him," shortstop Alex Rodriguez said. "We got 10 hits last night and I thought our bats were waking up a little. But when a guy comes in like he did, you just tip your hat to him and move on."
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