The 2003 race to the playoffs - 9/10

<b>AL West Standings</b>:<br> Oakland 86-60<br> Seattle 83-62 (2.5 games back) </p><p> <b>AL Wildcard Standings</b>:<br> Boston 85-60<br> Seattle 83-62 (2 games back)

Joel Pineiro's third complete-game of 2003 put Seattle back in the win category, but the gem didn't push the Mariners any closer to Boston or Oakland, each of which also won.

Here's a quick run-down of the games:

Seattle 3 - Texas 1 Pineiro got the first 26 outs without giving up a run Wednedsay at Safeco Field, but a solo homer in the ninth inning by Rafael Palmeiro spoiled the shutout in the M's victory.

Seattle's 24-year-old right-hander struck out eight and allowed just four hits over his nine innings and improved to 14-10 on the season.

Palmeiro's homer was his sixth at Safeco Field this season, and his 34th on the year.

It was a strange night at The Safe as a power outage delayed the game 45 minutes with the Mariners up 1-0 in the fourth inning.

Texas starter John Thomson, who was cruising through the M's batting lineup before the darkness struck, faired worse once the lights came back on.

Upon returning in the bottom of the fourth, the flame-thrower got touched up for two runs on a majestic homer to left field by Bret Boone.

It was Boone's 33rd blast on the season.

Thomson dropped to 12-13 despite allowing only four hits in 6.2 innings.


Oakland 3 - Anaheim 0

So much for Anaheim playing the role of spoiler on this night.

Only one Angels' batter, Eric Owens, had more than one hit as Ted Lilly and the Athletics blanked Jerrod Washburn and the Anaheim lineup Wednesday night.

Oakland scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning on a RBI triple by Eric Chavez, a RBI double by Miguel Tejada and another run-scoring double by Jose Guillen.

Lilly (10-9) struck out five and allowed only four hits in 5.1 innings in the winning decision.

Oakland closer Keith Foulke picked up save No. 40.

Washburn (10-14) pitched well, striking out seven and walking none, but took the hard-luck loss, getting no run support to speak of.


Boston 5 - Baltimore 0

Much like the Oakland and Seattle games, the Red Sox rode a dazzling pitching performance by their starter in a shutout of the Orioles.

Pedro Martinez took the hill for the BoSox, and limited the O's to only three hits in his eight innings of work.

Martinez struck out nine, moving to 12-4 on the year.

Baltimore starter Jason Johnson allowed nine hits and four runs in 6.2 innings, taking the loss. He moved to 10-7 on the season.

Boston wasted no time in putting the O's in the rear-view mirror, scoring three runs off of Johnson in the first inning.

They added one-run outputs in the seventh and ninth.

Outfielder Johnny Damon led Boston's 11-hit attack with three on in game. Todd Walker, Manny Ramirez and the torrid Bill Mueller each added two.


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