Mariners, A’s head west for showdown


NEW YORK, AP

As Aaron Sele and the Seattle Mariners left Tropicana Field, they already were looking ahead.

“I think right now everybody’s pretty pumped just to get on the plane and get to sleep,” Sele said after Seattle beat Tampa Bay 5-4 Wednesday night for its eighth straight victory.

By Thursday night, though, the Mariners will have something else on their minds.

The AL West leaders take a three-game lead over Oakland into the opener of a four-game series against the A’s at Safeco Field.

“We’re going to take it a game at a time,” Sele said. “It’s a cliche for a reason.”

The Athletics also headed west after splitting a day-night doubleheader in Baltimore, losing 2-0 before coming back to win 4-0.

Along with the division title, the A’s are aiming at the wild card. They trail Cleveland by a half-game for the spot.

“If we win the series, no matter what we’ll be in great shape,” Oakland manager Art Howe said.

The Indians took over the wild card lead by sweeping a doubleheader at Boston, 2-1 and 5-4.

Tampa Bay’s loss was its 10th in a row, the longest skid in the AL this year.

Sele pitched six innings and improved to 6-0 lifetime against the Devil Rays.

Orioles 2, Athletics 0, 1st game Athletics 4, Orioles 0, 2nd game Shut down by Chuck McElroy in the first game, Oakland came back to salvage a split on homers by Eric Chavez, Jeremy Giambi and Matt Stairs.

Indians 2, Red Sox 1, 1st game Indians 5, Red Sox 4, 2nd game Cleveland moved back into the wild card lead, beating Pedro Martinez in the opener of a day night doubleheader and completing a sweep at Fenway Park as Omar Vizquel stole home.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 2 Esteban Loaiza pitched seven strong innings and Toronto roughed up David Cone at SkyDome.

White Sox 13, Tigers 6 Paul Konerko homered, doubled and drove in a career-high five runs and Ray Durham hit a grand slam as Chicago won at Detroit.

Rangers 6, Twins 4, 12 innings Rafael Palmeiro, making what he believed was his first appearance ever as a pinch-runner, scored the go-ahead run on Ruben Sierra’s single in the 12th inning at the Metrodome.

Angels 7, Royals 4, 10 innings Kevin Stocker hit a two-run double in the 10th and Anaheim won at Kansas City.