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News » Seattle welcomes back Junior, M's top Angels in 10

Seattle welcomes back Junior, M's top Angels in 10

Seattle welcomes back Junior, M's top Angels in 10
SEATTLE (AP) - A few more rousing wins like this, and people may actually believe Ken Griffey Jr. when he insists this reunion season in Seattle is about more than him.

"(People) want to ... make it THE story," Griffey said Tuesday night after his triumphant return to his first team. "The story is the 25 guys in this locker room."

A strong start from 2008 flop Carlos Silva preceded Franklin Gutierrez's leadoff double in the 10th inning. Gutierrez then scored the winning run on a throwing error by pitcher Scot Shields, giving the Mariners a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in perhaps Seattle's loudest home opener since 1982.

The surprising Mariners (6-2) are off to their best start since 2001, the last time they reached the playoffs. They have won five consecutive games, longer than any win streak in 2008 during their 101-loss season.

"We've got something special going on in here," Griffey said.

Baseball's active leader with 612 home runs went 1-for-3 with a walk in his first home game for the Mariners since Sept. 26, 1999.

Griffey has the same parking spot and same corner locker inside "The House that Junior Built" that he had for half a season before Seattle granted his request and traded him to his hometown Cincinnati Reds nine years ago.

That house, Safeco Field, was sold out for just the second time in 12 months. It rocked when he was introduced before the game, and again before he singled in his first at-bat.

"Why wouldn't I?" Griffey said, shrugging over the hit.

Seemingly every one of the 45,958 fans in attendance, including Mariners executives, stood for Griffey in the first inning. He tipped his batting helmet to both sides of the stadium.

"It was amazing. I never saw anything like that, that crowd, that intensity," Silva said.

Gutierrez doubled off Shields (0-1) before Yuniesky Betancourt dropped a sacrifice bunt deftly near the third-base line. Shields fielded it cleanly but his hurried throw was high and wide of first base. The ball caromed off the railing at the box seats and down the right-field line. Gutierrez ran joyously home, holding the top of his batting helmet and bracing for the pounding he received near the plate from his new teammates.

Seattle grabbed 1-0 and 2-1 leads early against Shane Loux, who took Nick Adenhart's turn in the rotation less than a week after the 22-year-old rookie was killed in an automobile accident that has left the Angels grieving.

"Every inning I thought about it. Every time I came back to the dugout I thought about it," Loux said. "It was more difficult than I thought."

The Angels hung Adenhart's No. 34 jersey in their dugout. After the game, Shields carried it back to the clubhouse. Each Angel wore a No. 34 patch on their chests.

"Right over my heart, so it wasn't real tough to dig for inspiration," Loux said.

He allowed five hits and two runs in 5 1-3 innings, his first start since Sept. 24, 2003, for Detroit.

The 29-year-old dressed four lockers to the right of Adenhart's, which had his jersey hanging over a bouquet of cream-colored roses.

Yankees 7, Rays 2

At St. Petersburg, Fla., A.J. Burnett took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in his second start since signing an $82.5 million, five-year deal, and Nick Swisher homered for the third time in four games.

Mark Teixeira drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly off J.P. Howell (0-1) after missing New York's previous three games with tendinitis in his left wrist.

Derek Jeter added a three-run homer in the ninth.

Burnett (2-0) allowed one baserunner until the seventh, when Carl Crawford fouled off three 0-2 pitches before lining a single to left and later scoring on Carlos Pena's RBI single.

Burnett allowed two runs and three hits, walked one and struck out nine in eight innings.

Twins 3, Blue Jays 2, 11 innings

At Minneapolis, Joe Crede doubled off the center-field fence in the 11th inning to score Justin Morneau from first base and give Minnesota the win.

Glen Perkins held the highest-scoring team in the majors to two runs in eight innings for the Twins, who snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Blue Jays.

Jesse Carlson (0-1) took the loss for Toronto.

Jesse Crain (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Perkins.

Royals 9, Indians 3

At Kansas City, Mo., John Buck broke open a tight game with a grand slam for his second homer of the night and had a career-high five RBIs for the Royals.

He hit a leadoff home run off Carl Pavano (0-2) in the fifth inning, then launched his second career grand slam off Vinnie Chulk in the eighth.

Buck's drives made a winner out of Kyle Davies (1-0), who scuffled through 5 2-3 innings.

Orioles 7, Rangers 5, 10 innings

At Arlington, Texas, Adam Jones hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 10th inning and Baltimore held on to hand the Rangers their fifth straight loss.

With the score tied at 3, Brian Roberts singled with one out in the 10th off Eddie Guardado (0-1). Jones, who had three RBIs, followed with his first homer of the season into the Baltimore bullpen in left-center.

Jim Johnson (1-0) threw two innings of one-hit relief.

Guardado allowed four runs and four hits while getting just two outs.

Athletics 6, Red Sox 5, 12 innings

At Oakland, Calif., Travis Buck barely beat out an infield single with the bases loaded and two outs in the 12th inning, scoring pinch-runner Rajai Davis as the Athletics dropped Boston to 2-6, its worst start since 1996.

Sean Gallagher (1-0) pitched the 12th inning for the A's in their second straight win over the Red Sox.

Javier Lopez (0-1) took the loss.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 15, 2009

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