Oakland overcome an early electrical-power outage and a late Mariner power surge last night to pull out a 10-inning 4-3 victory.
Stan Javier stroked a 10th-inning, two-run single just under the glove of shortstop Felix Fermin for the victory at the Kingdome. It negated a fine Mariner two-run ninth inning rally off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley that tied it at 2-2.
`Every run we scored was with two outs," Oakland Manager Tony La Russa said. `"e made things happen."
What the Mariners have feared all season is suddenly happening. Texas, which has won four in a row, is getting hot and starting to bury the struggling Mariners. They now are six games out of first place and 10 games under .500 (24-34).
The club also is concerned about the health of reliever Bill Risley. He left the games after a strikeout pitch to Scott Hemond in the 10th. He has a strained right shoulder and will be re-examined today.
"I think it'll be all right," said Risley, who said a flash of pain shot down his arm from his shoulder to his elbow after the pitch. "I've never had a problem with it."
The game was delayed with one out in the third inning when a power outage wiped out the entire bank of lights in left field.
The South Beacon Hill substation, one of five substations City Light uses to provide Kingdome with its power, was knocked out when two electric lines crossed.
It took about 20 minutes for the mercury-vapor lights to reach full illumination. The players retreated to the clubhouses and the fans were forced to listen to '70s music.
The darkness delay, not much longer than a big Mariner rally, still affected starter Randy Johnson. He didn't return with the same effectiveness. Five the first next 10 A's batters hit the ball hard.
"Certainly, the delay didn't help Randy," Mariner Manager Lou Piniella said. "His back was a little stiff."
Oakland quickly scored in the third. With one out, Rickey Henderson lofted a flyball down the right-field line. It fell just in front of the hustling Jay Buhner and barely fair. Piniella argued but TV replays showed it was clearly a foot fair.
Javier followed with a run-scoring double just inside the left-field line for a 1-0 lead.
It ended Johnson's scoreless streak at 29 innings, second longest in Mariner history. He had entered the game with three straight shutouts.
Former Mariner Mark Langston's club record is 34 1/3 innings, set in 1988.
Johnson hung around for 151 pitches and nine innings and waited for his team to catch some offense.
The Mariners, second in the majors with 83 home runs entering the game, were listless against the A's staff, which had a 5.85 ERA.
Seattle had a few early scoring chances. Tino Martinez had a one-out double in the second and Eric Anthony walked. But as Fermin struck out Martinez tried to steal third and was thrown out.
In the third, after two-out walks to Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr., Buhner stroked a hard groundout to shortstop.
But both Buhner and Griffey would come up big in the top of the fourth. Buhner made a fine over-the-shoulder off a slicing Ruben Sierra liner into right-center.
Then Griffey ended the inning with a marvelous leaping catch of a Terry Steinbach blast at 389-foot mark. Griffey timed his jump perfectly, digging his cleat on the wall and catching it about 11 feet up the 11 1/2-foot barrier. His cleat tore away a small hole in the padding.
Piniella called it "one of the greatest plays I've ever seen."
The A's, losers of 41 of their previous 58 games, increased the lead to 2-0 on Eric Fox's two-out home run to left. The homer was the first of the season for Fox, the No. 9 hitter.
But again in the fifth, the Mariners couldn't get a timely hit. Dan Wilson opened with a double, then Luis Sojo and Edgar Martinez were retired and Griffey walked.
LaRussa replaced starter Carlos Reyes one out short of qualifying for the win. Erstwhile starter Bob Welch entered and got Buhner on a lineout to right.
Welch retired all 10 batters he faced.
"Welch is batting 1.000 in relief," La Russa said. "He's pitched well every time out there."
Eckersley, working the ninth, was touched for a one-out home run by Tino Martinez, his eighth. Anthony followed with a double. Then, with two outs, Luis Sojo stroked a 2-2 fastball to shallow left that scored Anthony with the tying run.
Edgar Martinez couldn't finish it as he struck out to end the rally.
After the A's 10-inning rally, the Mariners would score one on Tino Martinez's single, but Anthony struck out to end it.
----------- MARINER LOG ----------- RELIEVER HILL UP; NELSON SENT DOWN
The Mariners activated right-handed pitcher Milt Hill, who was claimed this week after Atlanta released him. Reliever Jeff Nelson returned to Calgary.
Hill, who was with Manager Lou Piniella in Cincinnati for parts of the 1991 and 1992 seasons, said of Piniella, "The way he uses the bullpen, he's the best I've ever played for. He keeps everyone sharp."
Hill appeared in 10 games for the Braves, and was 0-0 with a 7.94 ERA. He last pitched May 28.
"I had a rough go in Atlanta," he said. "I was throwing well and getting ahead of the hitters, but I seemed to lose my concentration. My concentration needs to improve."
He said he looks forward to playing with Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Randy Johnson and especially Goose Gossage.
"Every reliever for the past 20 years respects his ability," Hill added. "He was one who paved the road for the specialty relief pitcher."
-- Infielder Brian Turang, who just arrived Monday with the hope of improving team speed, has been rushed right back to Calgary. Turang was the surprising choice to be moved when designated hitter/first baseman Reggie Jefferson came off the disabled list yesterday. Infielder Torey Lovullo was believed the most likely player to be sent down.
-- Chris Bosio will start tonight instead of Dave Fleming. This allows Bosio to remain on a five-day rotation.
-- Both the Mariners and the A's tonight will dress in authentic Seattle Rainiers and Oakland Oaks wool uniforms from the mid-1950s in a "Salute to the Rainiers" game. The first 20,000 fan also will receive a replica Rainiers' cap.
-- Also tonight: the scoreboard will be hand-operated, as the main electronic scoreboard will be turned off; a bell rung for each Rainier (Mariner) run; ushers in replica jerseys; a 1955-style fans scorecard; a live organist in the 300 level; and old-time advertisements on the outfield walls.
-- The Mariners' (Rainiers) jerseys will be sold at a silent auction, with the proceeds going to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
-- The Mariners' annual charity golf outing at Bear Creek Country Club on Thursday raised approximately $100,000 for cystic fibrosis foundation. Pitching coach Sammy Ellis and his foursome won the best-ball format.
-- The Mariners will dedicate another Boeing Junior Mariners athletic field today in Enumclaw. Bosio and Dan Wilson will be part of the dedication at 10 a.m. The complex is located on S.E. 469th St.
Previous cities to have a field built are Carnation, Ballard, Vashon Island, Federal Way, Sumner, Mukilteo, Kennewick, Enumclaw and Shoreline.
---------- ATTENDANCE ---------- Wednesday: 17,943. Home season total: 713,070. Avg. for 30 games: 23,769.