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Mariners 6, Athletics 5

June 24, 1997

SEATTLE (AP) _ Seattle was outhomered 4-0 and won anyway. That’s how June is going for the Mariners.

``We’re playing good right now,″ Russ Davis said Monday night after the Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 for their eighth straight home win. ``We’re getting a little bit of everything. Everything is going good for us right now.″

Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez drove in two runs apiece as the Mariners improved to 16-4 this month with their fifth win in a row.

The Mariners stayed 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Anaheim in the AL West and stretched their lead over defending division champ Texas to six.

With nine of their next 13 games against AL West opponents before the All-Star break, they have a chance to break open the division race.

``We’re playing guys in our own division and we’ve just got to ride it out,″ Davis said. ``This is a time when you need to step it up and get after it a little bit.″

Said manager Lou Piniella: ``We were a little tired. We got in early this morning and I think the earthquake (in the Seattle area Monday) woke a few of them up.″

The last-place A’s lost their fifth consecutive game despite hitting four home runs, all solo shots. Oakland’s Jason Giambi extended his hitting streak to a club-record 25 games.

``I’ll take a home run any day of the week,″ Oakland manager Art Howe said. ``We just spotted them too much too early.″

The Mariners, back home after sweeping a four-game series in Arlington, Texas, took a 5-0 lead off Dave Telgheder (2-4) in the first two innings.

Buhner singled in two runs in the first. In the second, Alvaro Espinoza had an RBI groundout followed by run-scoring singles by Ken Griffey Jr. and Martinez.

Rookie Derek Lowe (2-2) went five innings to get the win despite giving up home runs to Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco and rookie Mark Bellhorn.

``This is my first year and it’s fun to go out there,″ Lowe said. ``You know you can give up a few runs like I did tonight and still get the win.″

Giambi’s homer in the fifth gave him the second longest hitting streak in the majors this season behind Albert Belle’s 27-game hitting streak for Chicago.

The A’s got their first two runs in the third _ on Bellhorn’s first major-league homer and Damon Mashore’s RBI groundout.

In the fourth, the Mariners made it 6-2 on Martinez’s RBI double.

Giambi hit his eighth homer and Canseco his 17th in the fifth. In the eighth, Matt Stairs homered off Scott Sanders to bring the A’s within 6-5.

Stairs noted the A’s have hit seven solo home runs in their last two games _ both losses.

``That’s tough,″ he said. ``But we have a real young team. We’re learning as we’re going.″

Norm Charlton, who had blown his previous five save chances, came on with the tying run at first in the ninth and recorded his 11th save.

``I told you I was going to rotate my closers,″ Piniella said. ``Right now, Bobby (Ayala) is my principal guy, but he pitched two innings last night.″

Notes: Oakland’s Mark McGwire didn’t start but led off the ninth with a pinch-hit single. ... A’s right fielder Geronimo Berroa left the game in the bottom of the second with a strained right shoulder he suffered making a throw in the first. ... Davis extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games. ... The Mariners attempted their first stolen base in seven games when Griffey stole second in the fourth. ... Mariners pitchers have given up a major league-high 93 homers. ... Charlton’s save was his first since May 14.

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