Sexson has two homers, 5 RBI in M's debut

SEATTLE (AP) -- Two at-bats with his new club, two home runs for

Richie Sexson. If you'd have made that forecast to Seattle's

slugger a week ago, he wouldn't have thought it was possible.

Sexson homered twice and drove in five runs in his Seattle

debut, and 42-year-old Jamie Moyer pitched 5 2/3 strong innings

Monday to lead the Mariners to a season-opening 5-1 win over the

Minnesota Twins.

"Not exactly the way you envision it," Sexson said, smiling.

"To do something like that is a little farfetched."

Sexson, given a $50 million, four-year contract to join the

Mariners, hit a three-run homer in the first and added a two-run

drive in the third, both off loser Brad Radke.

"I never was a free agent, a big free agent especially," said

Seattle manager Mike Hargrove, who won his Mariners debut. "I'd

have to believe it's tough if you care at all. You don't want to

let down the people that signed you, or the people who came to see

you play."

Ichiro Suzuki led off the first with a single and Adrian Beltre

hit a one-out comebacker, but Radke was charged with an error on

his throw to second when he tried for the force. Sexson drove the

next pitch an estimated 358 feet over the hand-operated scoreboard

in left.

"I don't think it was a bad pitch to throw, but I needed better

location -- down and away. I put us in a hole early," Radke said.

Sexson made it 5-0 in the third with a 418-foot drive to the

deepest part of the park after Beltre's two-out single. All center

fielder Torii Hunter could do was watch as it skimmed over the


"It just scraped over the wall," Sexson said.

Sexson had a slow start with only two spring training homers,

but his bat was improving as camp closed. It didn't hurt that he

started against Radke, improving to 7-for-25 against him with three

homers and 12 RBI.

"He's gotten me out, as well," Sexson said. "He's made me

look silly. You saw what he did. He mixed up his pitches really

well today."

Moyer, trying to bounce back from a 7-13 season, got the win in

his second straight opening day start. He gave up five hits but the

only run he allowed was unearned, and he struck out four with no

walks, hitting one batter with a pitch.

"I had good location. When I missed, I didn't miss by a lot,"

said Moyer, the oldest opening day starter in the majors since

Charlie Hough worked Florida's opener in 1994 at age 46.

He worked his usual array of sinkers and changeups, and his

curveball was especially effective.

"He's been doing it for years," Hunter said. "He doesn't try

to strike you out, just keep you off balance and get you out. He

knows his game and does it well."

Moyer turned it over to Julio Mateo in the sixth, who combined

with Ron Villone and Eddie Guardado for 3 1-3 scoreless relief

innings. Guardado, slowed by a strained right hamstring during

spring training, pitched a perfect ninth.

"I was nervous," Guardado said. "My stomach was turning a

little bit. I felt good, felt like the old Eddie."

Minnesota, coming off its third straight AL Central title,

pulled to 5-1 in the fifth on Jason Bartlett's two-out RBI single.

Michael Cuddyer scored, but the run was unearned because he reached

on a blooper that resulted in a fielding error charged to Seattle

second baseman Bret Boone.

Radke made his seventh straight start on opening day, and his

club-record ninth. He worked seven innings, allowing five runs --

four earned -- on five hits with five strikeouts, but dropped to 0-3

at Safeco Field, the only AL park where Radke hasn't won.

"Radke settled down," Gardenhire said. "With the exception of

a couple of pitches to the big guy, that was it. They got us


Opening Day was as festive as ever.

Suzuki and Boone were presented their Gold Glove awards from

last season, while Beltre received a Silver Slugger. There was a

video tribute to the 1995 Mariners, the first Seattle team to reach

the postseason.

But the biggest cheers came when former Mariners designated

hitter Edgar Martinez, who retired after last season following 17

years in Seattle, took the mound to toss the ceremonial first

pitch.Game notes
Sexson became the ninth Mariner to homer in his first

at-bat wearing a Seattle uniform, but the first to do so in his

first two at-bats. ... The Twins are 0-3 in openers against

Seattle. ... After a drizzly, cold morning, fans cheered when the

roof was opened under mostly clear skies 20 minutes before the

first pitch. It was closed during with Seattle hitting in the

fourth. ... Mariners SS Wilson Valdez, who was waived by two other

teams last week, was hitless in three at-bats.