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AL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2001

Mariners tie record with 19 wins

CHICAGO -- Seattle outfielder Mike Cameron remembers the last time he won this often.

"It's like Little League -- winning every day," Cameron said. "It's fun."

The Mariners won their eighth straight game -- tying a major-league record with their 19th win in April -- beating the White Sox 8-3 Friday night behind a homer from John Olerud.

The Mariners have won 12 of 13 and, at 19-4, are off to baseball's best start since Milwaukee won 20 of 23 in 1987. The 1997 Braves were the only other team to win 19 games in April.

"We're pitching, catching the ball and getting timely hitting," manager Lou Piniella said. "It's all been constant the first 23 games of the season."

The defending Central champion White Sox, who have lost nine of 12, also lost slugger Frank Thomas, who left the game after spraining his right triceps diving for a ball. He is scheduled for an MRI today.

Aaron Sele allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings for the win in the first meeting between the teams since Seattle swept Chicago in the first round of last year's playoffs.

Sele said the Mariners aren't in awe of their start.

"We had a stretch last year when we played like this," Sele said. "The veteran players on this team know how to prepare. We know if you do that and play hard, you'll be in a position to win. We're not even thinking about a winning streak. It's not even May."

YANKEES 3, ATHLETICS 2: Tino Martinez hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning as host New York came from behind to snap a three-game losing streak.

Tied at 2, Martinez hit a 2-and-0 pitch from Mark Mulder (2-2) into the second deck in rightfield to give New York the lead in the teams' first meeting since the Yankees beat the A's in Game 5 to win last season's division series.

Both teams have struggled early this season, with Oakland (8-15) in last place in the West and the Yankees having lost eight of 11 to fall to .500 before the win.

Orlando Hernandez labored through five innings after missing his last start because of discomfort in his right elbow. Hernandez, who threw 93 pitches, allowed two runs and three hits and struck out six, but showed signs of an eight-day layoff by walking five.

RANGERS 11, INDIANS 9: Rusty Greer homered twice, Gabe Kapler hit a grand slam and Alex Rodriguez had a two-run shot to power host Texas.

Greer led off the third and sixth innings with homers and added a run-scoring double in the eighth for the Rangers, who nearly blew an eight-run lead.

It was a typical win for Texas. The Rangers have the worst ERA in the majors but entered Friday leading the league in hits, doubles, homers, RBI, batting average and on-base percentage.

Texas has 40 homers in 23 games and 31 extra-base hits in its past six. The Rangers pounded rookie Tim Drew for six runs in three-plus innings, but nearly gave back all of a 9-1 lead.

The Indians closed within 11-9 in the eighth and had two on with one out, but reliever Jeff Zimmerman retired Ellis Burks and Juan Gonzalez.

TWINS 6, ORIOLES 3: Doug Mientkiewicz homered twice and drove in four runs as Minnesota improved to 9-1 at home.

Cal Ripken was back in Baltimore's lineup after being benched in three of the previous five games and went 2-for-4, hitting a ninth-inning homer against Bob Wells.

Ripken, 40, has homered in the past two games he has played, batting 4-for-8 with four RBI. He is batting .183 this season with two homers and 10 RBI.

Minnesota opened a four-game lead in the Central. The Twins' 16-5 start is their best since 1972.

Delino Deshields homered twice for Baltimore off Joe Mays, who allowed four hits in seven innings. Mays retired his final 13 batters, and Wells and LaTroy Hawkins finished the six-hitter. Hawkins got the last out for his seventh save in seven chances.

Mientkiewicz hit a three-run homer in the first off Jose Mercedes and a shot in the sixth for the first multihomer game of his career. He has five homers this season.

RED SOX 9, ROYALS 2: Manny Ramirez and Troy O'Leary hit consecutive home runs and Carl Everett added his second grand slam in the past three days as Boston cruised.

Ramirez hit an opposite-field three-run homer off Royals starter Blake Stein in the fifth inning that just cleared the seats in rightfield. O'Leary followed with a shot down the rightfield line for his first of the season. It also marked the first time that Boston hit back-to-back homers this year.

The Red Sox have won eight of 11 and improved to 11-3 at Fenway Park. The Royals are 3-11 on the road.

Frank Castillo allowed two runs and six hits in 51/3 innings for his third straight victory.

BLUE JAYS 12, ANGELS 4: Jose Cruz extended his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games with a three-run homer, and Toronto won its third straight.

Brad Fullmer went 4-for-4 for the Blue Jays, 10-3 at home this season.

Cruz, recently moved to the fifth spot in the order behind Carlos Delgado, has the longest hitting streak in the league this season. Cruz's sixth homer, off reliever Lou Pote, gave Toronto a 10-2 lead in the seventh.

Pote allowed seven runs, six hits and three walks in 21/3 innings.

Tony Batista homered and had three RBI for the Blue Jays, who have hit the second-most homers in the AL with 34.

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