Still No Relief in Sight for Mariners

From Associated Press

Poor relief pitching and sloppy fielding hurt the Seattle Mariners once again.

After Seattle's bullpen blew another save, third baseman Russ Davis committed his 17th error of the year in the 10th inning, leading to Oakland's winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Mariners on Sunday.

"It's a slow death," said Seattle reliever Paul Spoljaric, who walked the only batter he faced in contributing to the bullpen's 13th blown save in 23 chances. "If I do my job, it might have made a difference."

Seattle got home runs from David Segui, Alex Rodriguez and Glenallen Hill to increase its major league-leading total to 112, but they weren't enough to overcome the Mariners' besieged bullpen or sloppy fielding. The Mariners came into the game with the second-worst fielding percentage in the AL, ahead of only Oakland.

"We got a break and we'll take it but that wasn't an easy play," said Mike Blowers, whose sharp grounder was mishandled by Davis. "I hit it hard and it had a lot of topspin. When the ball's coming down there like that, you're going to get it on an in-between hop and you don't know what it's going to do. I know it was spinning like crazy."

Heathcliff Slocumb (1-4) issued a leadoff walk to Scott Spiezio in the 10th and Ben Grieve followed with a single. Matt Stairs then flied out to right, advancing Spiezio to third.

Blowers grounded sharply to third and Davis bobbled the ball and was unable to make a play on Spiezio, who had broken for home.

"We got the ground ball. We just didn't execute," said Seattle Manager Lou Piniella.

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