Sasaki Ties AL Rookie Save Record
- Mariners' righthander Kazuhiro Sasaki tied Billy Koch's AL rookie record for saves with 31 today against
Boston. Here is the game report:
BOSTON (AP) -- A September call-up paid off big for the Seattle Mariners.
Brian Lesher, making his first big league appearance of the season, had a pinch-hit
RBI triple and two-run double in two at-bats, helping the Mariners past the Boston
Red Sox 4-1 Saturday.
"That was a big day for that young man," Seattle manager Lou Piniella said. "He got
us ahead and put us more ahead in the ninth inning. I'm glad we called him up when
Lesher, who had just seven at-bats in 1999, was called up from Triple-A Tacoma
when rosters were expanded Friday.
The Mariners broke up a scoreless game with a run in the seventh. Mark
McLemore had a two-out single against Hipolito Pichardo, and pinch-hitter Lesher
tripled off Rheal Cormier when right fielder Trot Nixon got twisted on a ball over
his head that could have been caught.
"I knew my job was going to be against left-handed pitching," Lesher said.
"Nervous? No I wasn't. I was thinking I will be. I was surprised I wasn't."
Edgar Martinez, who entered the game 0-for-20 against Boston this season, hit a
tiebreaking homer leading off the eighth inning, while Freddy Garcia pitched seven
Seattle added a pair of runs in the ninth off Rich Garces (8-1) on Lesher's two-run
The win was just the Mariners' fourth in 19 games and spoiled Boston's chance to
tie Cleveland for the AL wild card lead. The Indians, who own a one-game lead
over the Red Sox, lost 8-6 to Baltimore.
Martinez hit the second pitch of the eighth inning from Garces into the center-field
seats for his career-high 33rd homer. He leads the majors with 128 RBIs.
Garcia (5-4) gave up one run and three hits, struck out seven and walked none in
breaking a four-game winless streak.
Arthur Rhodes pitched one scoreless inning before Kazuhiro Sasaki got three outs
for his 31st save in 34 chances.
Sasaki retired the final two hitters with runners on first and second. It's the
second-most saves by a Mariners pitcher. Jose Mesa (1999) and Mike Schooler
(1989) own the club record with 33. "Sasaki's been great for us this year,"
"He's pitched very well," Piniella said of his closer. "He's got 31 saves now. I hope
he gets the chance to get 10 or 12 more."
Troy O'Leary's 11th homer tied it in the seventh. Boston starter Ramon Martinez,
making his first start since being sidelined with a right knee contusion on July 31,
allowed two hits and no runs in 5 1-3 innings. He walked four and struck out three.
"I feel very strong right now," Martinez said. "This is going to be a very interesting
month. I know I can help the team."
Seattle loaded the bases on two walks and a hit baseman with one out against
Martinez in the sixth, but Pichardo got Carlos Guillen to foul out and struck out
Just like Friday's game, both teams were scoreless after five innings. Martinez
breezed through the first five, allowing just two singles, a pair of walks and a hit
Garcia was better, though. The Red Sox had a two-out double by Carl Everett in
the first, but only one other baserunner: Mike Lansing snapped a 3-for-34 stretch
with a single in the second.
"When he was able to get ahead with his fastball, he had a very good changeup,"
Boston's Rico Brogna said of Garcia. After Lansing's single, Garcia retired 13
straight before O'Leary's homer.
Seattle first baseman John Olerud, who was not with the club for the second
straight game after his wife gave birth to a daughter, is expected back Sunday. ...
Mariners right fielder Jay Buhner went 1-for-3 with a walk in his return from the
disabled list for a sprained right pinky and wrist. ... Boston's Nomar Garciaparra
batted second for the second straight game. ... Martinez was 0-for-21 against
Boston before he singled in the fourth. ... Pichardo and SS Garciaparra made nice
plays on consecutive grounders in the seventh. Pichardo barehanded a slow roller
before throwing out Oliver, and Garciaparra went behind the bag and threw from
the second-base side to get David Bell. ... The game's start was delayed by rain for
1 hour, 44 minutes.
Kansas City 7
Tampa Bay 5
NY Yankees 13
St. Louis 2
NY Mets 1
San Francisco 13
Chicago Cubs 2