June 23, 1997 in Sports

M’S Show Rangers The Mistake Of Their Ways Home Runs By Buhner, Griffey Cap Series Sweep For Seattle

Associated Press

The Texas Rangers can testify that mistakes against the Seattle Mariners usually prove to be fatal.

Seattle scored three runs in the second inning after a critical error by Benji Gil, and Jay Buhner and Ken Griffey Jr. hit homers as the Seattle Mariners swept a four-game series with a 6-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

“It was a great weekend for us in Texas,” Mariners manager Lou Piniella said of the sweep. “Let’s enjoy this. We got good pitching, good hitting, and nice plays in the field.”

Jeff Fassero (7-3) allowed seven hits and three runs, one earned, in seven innings. John Burkett (5-6), who gave up five runs and 10 hits, took the loss.

“The sweep was important for us because it gives us some breathing room in our division,” Fassero said. “We know what we have to do to beat these guys. It puts more pressure on them. Our starting rotation has been solidified and we have tough hitting. Randy Johnson on the first night got us rolling. Everything fed off that.”

Buhner, who knocked in five runs in a 14-8 win Saturday, had three homers and seven RBIs in the series as first-place Seattle pulled five games ahead of third-place Texas in the A.L. West.

Griffey got his major-league leading 29th homer in the top of the ninth inning when he hit an 0-2 pitch off Ed Vosberg 401 feet over the center field fence.

After Edgar Martinez singled to open the second inning, Paul Sorrento hit a hard grounder at Gil’s feet. He booted the ball, then threw wildly to second. Dan Wilson followed with a double to score Martinez, and Russ Davis and Alvaro Espinoza each had RBI singles.

“We opened the door and they took advantage of it,” said Texas manager Johnny Oates. “We booted the ball and they made us pay. In these four games, Seattle did every single thing it had to do to win.”

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