The 2003 race to the playoffs - 9/9

<b>AL West Standings</b>:<br> Oakland 85-60<br> Seattle 82-62 (2.5 games back) </p><p> <b>AL Wildcard Standings</b>:<br> Boston 84-60<br> Seattle 82-62 (2 game back)

Two of the three teams vying for two spots in the American League playoff hunt won on Tuesday. The only team to lose of the three was Seattle, which squandered a four-run lead in a devastating loss to Texas at Safeco Field.

Here's a rundown of each game:

Seattle 4 - Texas 5

The Mariners worked up a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning when Edgar Martinez delived a two-run homer to right field (which my friend Ross McGrath let bounce off his hands), but Texas stormed back with the five unanswered runs to steal the win.

The big blow came in the seventh inning when, with the Mariners holding a comfortable 4-1 lead, Mariner-killer Rafael Palmiero hit a three-run homer off of Armando Benitez to knot the game at 4-4.

Benitez had come in to relieve Arthur Rhodes, who gave up a hit to the one batter he faced.

First baseman Mark Teixeira drove in the go-ahead run off of M's closer Shigetoshi Hasegawa in the 10th.

Hasegawa took the loss, dropping to 2-2.

Francisco Cordero came on to retire the M's in order in the bottom of the inning for his 13th save.

Former outfielder Ron Mahay got the winning decision for the Rangers with two innings of scoreless relief. He improved to 3-0.

Texas had 11 hits. Seattle finished with eight, led by the two of Ichiro Suzuki.

Oakland 8 - Anaheim 1

Justin Duchscherer allowed only four hits in seven scoreless innings as the Athletics rolled to a victory over the Angels.

Making his first big league start in two years, Duchscherer made the most of his opportunity, and gave the Oakland bat a chance to take advantage of the Angels' young rookie starter, Chris Bootcheck.

That they did, knocking Bootcheck around for seven runs and eight hits in 3.1 innings.

Oakland did it's damage with four runs in the third, and four more in the fourth.

Duchscherer moved to 1-0.

Bootcheck took the loss, dropping to 0-1.

Miguel Tejada got the A's going early on with a two-out, three run blast in the third. Ramon Hernandez and Jermaine Dye followed the shortstop's lead with back-to-back solo homers an inning later.

Oakland out-hit Anaheim eight to six.

Boston 9 - Baltimore 2

David Ortiz and the Red Sox offense wasted little time getting to work, and Boston starter Derek Lowe did the rest as the Bean Towners ran away from the Orioles in Baltimore Tuesday.

Lowe pitched six innings of six-hit baseball, and got early run support en route to his 15th win of the season. Lowe allowed just one run on the day.

Boston put up two runs in the second and third innings off of O's starer Damian Moss, setting the tone for the night.

They added another run an inning later off of releiver Sean Douglass and got to Douglass again in the sixth for two more runs.

Ortiz led the Red Sox's 13-hit attack with two hits and four RBI. Bill Mueller added a 3-3 day from the plate and two RBI. Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek contributed two hits apiece.

Already up 2-0 heading into the third inning, Ortiz connected on his 26th homer of the season, a two-run shot.

Varitek and Mueller each homered as well.

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