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Mariners win battle of homers
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08/07/2002 11:30 pm ET 
Mariners win battle of homers
Wilson hits last of seven round-trippers for Seattle win
By Stephanie J. Geosits / MLB.com

Dan Wilson, John Olerud and Kazuhiro Sasaki celebrate the Mariners' win. (Kevin Frayer/AP)
TORONTO -- You can't defend against the home run, as the cliche goes.

Toronto learned that the hard way on Wednesday as Dan Wilson tagged a solo homer in the top of the 10th to give Seattle a hard-fought 5-4 victory and its 31st come-from-behind win this season.

Kazuhiro Sasaki (3-5) earned the win in relief and Luke Prokopec (2-9) took the loss. It was the fifth time in their last seven victories that the Mariners came back, guided by two well-placed homers and some clutch hitting.

"It was a good win for us tonight after a tough loss last night to come back, bounce back and get ourselves back on track," Wilson said.

Wilson hit his fifth home run of the year on a 1-2 pitch from Prokopec, the Jays' fifth pitcher of the night, to help the Mariners to their sixth extra-inning win this season, but only their second on the road. Seattle is 2-4 in extra-inning games.

"With two strikes, you're just trying to make contact -- get the bat on the ball and hit the ball fair," Wilson said. "I don't know where the pitch was, to be honest with you."

The fastball went down the left field line and a stunned crowd was silenced for a few seconds.

Seattle was ready to close the book on win No. 70 in the bottom of the ninth, but Toronto wouldn't go quietly. Sasaki took the mound possessing a 4-3 lead that had been eked out on an RBI single by Edgar Martinez in the top of the inning, but he couldn't hold on. With one out, Sasaki surrendered a solo homer to Chris Woodward, his third of the game, to knot the score at 4-4.

Sasaki had saved 29 of 33 previous opportunities this season.

The Mariners had tried to set the stage for a win earlier in the game with some clutch hitting -- a solo homer by Bret Boone in the eighth to tie things at 3-3 and a bases-loaded RBI by Martinez in the ninth. Even starter Joel Pineiro held up well for six innings.

    Dan Wilson   /   C
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 202
Bats/Throws: R/R

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"We had some big knocks tonight," Wilson said. "Boonie's home run to tie the ball game was huge and then [Martinez'] base hit off of Escobar put us ahead and Kaz [Sasaki] had trouble the one inning [but bounced back] and that was really the difference."

Toronto looked ready to shut the door in Seattle's face but the Mariners just wouldn't let that happen.

"It was a good win for us," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "You can't get pushed any more than we were tonight."

In the eighth, Boone drove a full-count pitch from Scott Cassidy off the left field foul pole for his 19th homer, which tied the score at 3-3. The next inning, the M's loaded the bases and Martinez knocked in his second run of the game. Martinez also accounted for a solo homer in the sixth, his eighth of the season, which gave Seattle a 2-1 lead. The Mariners' first run came on an RBI single by Wilson that scored Boone.

Pineiro kept the Blue Jays at bay for six innings, surrendering just one run on a solo homer in vying for his 12th win of the season, but two more solo home runs chased him from the game in the seventh.

"Pineiro pitched well," Piniella said. "I was pleased with the way he threw the ball."

The right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out four and not allowing a walk. In fact, none of the eight pitchers used in the game by both teams surrendered a free pass. Toronto starter Esteban Loaiza also went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on 10 hits and fanning eight.

Pineiro's only lapse through the first five innings was surrendering a home run to Woodward in the fifth, which tied the game at 1-1. It was a mistake he was destined to repeat.

After the Mariners took a 2-1 lead, Toronto's Dewayne Wise led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run on a 1-and-1 pitch to knot the game at 2-2. Not to be outdone, Woodward parked Pineiro's first pitch just to the right of the left field foul pole to give Toronto the 3-2 lead.

The Jays' shortstop completed the hat trick with his 11th homer in the ninth. The trio of homers marked Woodward's first multi-homer game of his career. It was the first three-homer game by a Blue Jay since Carlos Delgado accomplished the feat on April 20, 2001.

"I didn't realize he hit three until after the ballgame," Piniella said.

The Blue Jays threatened again in the 10th with two out and a man on second but Sasaki was able to get Vernon Wells to ground out to short to end the game.

Stephanie J. Geosits is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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