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Wednesday, Apr. 4 6:35pm ET
Seven-run sixth does it for Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) – Even without Alex Rodriguez, the Seattle Mariners still can have a big inning.

Aaron Sele pitched six strong innings and the Mariners used a seven-run sixth to beat the Oakland Athletics 10-2 on Wednesday night.

Edgar Martinez
Edgar Martinez's two-run single sparked a seven-run sixth inning that helped Seattle break away from Oakland.

"This shows we can still do it," manager Lou Piniella said. "If we can do it once, it can do it again. It's as good an inning as you can have."

Edgar Martinez went 3-for-4, including a two-run single. Martinez was 8-for-10 in the three-game series with four walks and three RBI.

The Mariners won two of three in the season-opening series against the defending AL West champions.

Sele (1-0) gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings. Freddy Garcia and John Halama, who started the first two games for Seattle, each lasted just 3 1-3 innings.

"He kept us in the ballgame," Piniella said of Sele, who was an All-Star and a 17-game winner in his first season in Seattle last year. "You can see why he wins 17 or 18 ballgames. He competes out there. He got the job done. You want to see your starters take you into the sixth or seventh innings."

Seattle sent 11 batters up against Gil Heredia (0-1), Jeff Tam and Mark Guthrie to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth.

David Bell doubled in a run to snap the tie, Mike Cameron followed with an RBI single and Martinez hit a two-run single.

John Olerud added a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Anthony Sanders capped the outburst with a two-run single to make it 9-2.

"They put together five hits off the 'pen and ended up breaking the game wide open," Oakland manager Art Howe said.

Tam gave up four runs, three hits and a walk without getting an out.

"I didn't get the job done," he said. "They are pretty good hitters. They've been tough outs for us so far. My not doing my job throwing quality pitches makes them even better hitters."

The Mariners had 15 hits, including three doubles, in the series finale. For the series, they had 28 hits, four for doubles.

Minus Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. and now playing at Safeco Field, the Mariners aren't going to win too many games with home runs anymore.

"For us to have a big inning like the one today, we'll have to get six or seven hits," Sele said. "Occasionally, we'll get a three-run homer, but not very often."

Martinez, a two-time AL batting champion who started the season with a .320 career batting average, is hitting behind leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki and Cameron in the No. 3 place in Seattle's batting order, moving up from the cleanup spot. Olerud is protecting him at No. 4.

"When Alex was in our lineup, he helped everybody," Martinez said. "But I'm still getting a lot of good pitches. You never know. It changes series to series."

Bret Boone added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

The A's scored in the first on Eric Chavez's RBI single, but the Mariners tied it on Boone's fielder's choice with the bases loaded.

In Oakland's fourth, Miguel Tejada doubled and Jeremy Giambi singled him in. Seattle loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning before Tom Lampkin hit into a double play for a run in the bottom of the inning.

Heredia went 5 1-3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, three walks and six strikeouts.

The A's nipped the Mariners by a half game in the division last season.

"It's going to be a dogfight again this year and we are looking forward to it," Howe said.

Game notes
Plate umpire Kerwin Danley ejected Mariners hitting coach Gerald Perry for arguing from the dugout after Boone was called out on strikes to end the fifth. ... The A's walked two Mariners intentionally, giving Seattle five intentional walks for the series. ... Suzuki went 2-for-4, both singles. He was 4-for-13, all singles, with one walk in the series. ... Oakland starters left with a lead or a tie in all three games. The A's bullpen gave up 10 runs in 7 2-3 innings for an 11.74 ERA. ... The Mariners ended a five-game losing streak against Heredia. The last time they beat him was Sept. 21, 1998, at the Kingdome. ... Norm Charlton, 38, started his third stint with the Mariners and pitched a perfect eighth and ninth.

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