Work in Sports
Edgar, Olerud power Mariners past White Sox
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners are doing just fine without Junior.
Martinez hit a two-run homer right after Cameron's steal -- which followed a rare on-the-field meeting with manager Lou Piniella at first base.
After Martinez's shot cleared the left-field wall, Olerud followed with a solo homer.
What was Piniella doing coming to first to talk with his baserunner?
"He said, 'Relax,'" said Cameron. "Whatever he told me, it worked. The only time you see that is Little League.
"I can't tell you exactly what he said. It's a secret we have to keep under the sheets. I guess it was a moment of truth. He wanted to shore things up and make sure I was comfortable."
The consecutive homers came off Chicago relief ace Keith Foulke, who'd surrendered just nine home runs in 88 innings all season.
Martinez said Cameron's stolen base changed his approach.
"When Mike was at second, I tried to make contact and make my swing a little shorter," Martinez said. "By him being at second, I was able to wait more for the pitch and make a better swing."
Cameron, traded away by the White Sox two years ago to Cincinnati and acquired by the Mariners in the Griffey deal this February, singled in the tying run in the seventh.
He singled again to start the 10th. Alex Rodriguez popped out before Cameron, once projected as Chicago's next star, was nearly picked off first.
At that point, Piniella came out of the dugout and talked to Cameron. After a pitchout, Cameron stole second.
"I told him the NASDAQ was down 113 points and Cisco was a heck of a buy," Piniella said, refusing to divulge his on-field advice.
"That's first time I've ever seen that. But whatever he told him, evidently it worked," Chicago second baseman Ray Durham said.
Martinez, who led the AL with 145 RBIs and had a career-high 37 homers, hit a two-run homer to left field to silence a crowd of 45,290 that came to see the White Sox's first playoff appearance in seven years. Olerud followed with a long shot to center.
"Walking off the mound wasn't the difficult part. Giving up the home run to Edgar was the difficult part," Foulke said. "It was a bad changeup."
Game 2 in the best-of-five series will be Wednesday at Chicago.
Seattle won eight of its final nine road games in the regular season, including a win over Anaheim on the last day to clinch the wild card.
The White Sox, who led the majors in scoring and had the best record in baseball, stranded 10 runners.
Charles Johnson, the only White Sox player with a World Series ring, led off the bottom of the ninth with a bloop single. Two outs later, Mesa intentionally walked Thomas and retired Magglio Ordonez on a fly ball with runners at first and second.
Foulke, who saved 34 games this season, had given up just one run in his previous 14 2/3 innings of the regular season.
Cameron hit a two-out, bases-loaded single in the seventh to tie it at 4. David Bell was thrown out by right fielder Ordonez trying to score from second on the hit, ending the inning.
"I'm just glad we're in the playoffs. We're playing the White Sox, the team I used to play for," Cameron said. "I want to win against them like I would anybody else."
Durham homered and Chris Singleton and Ordonez had RBI triples as the White Sox took a 4-3 lead after falling behind early 3-0.
Durham's homer to left-center off Freddy Garcia tied the game in the third.
Chicago loaded the bases in the fourth to drive out Garcia before reliever Brett Tomko retired Jose Valentin and Thomas on short fly balls. It was that kind of day for the White Sox, who couldn't provide the big hit when they needed it.
The Mariners jumped on Chicago starter Jim Parque for a pair of first-inning runs. Rickey Henderson grounded a single to right leading off. Cameron was hit by a pitch and Rodriguez -- who had three hits -- dropped a soft single to right for a 1-0 lead.
Olerud's grounder made it 2-0. Joe Oliver homered leading off the second for a 3-0 lead.
But the White Sox, who scored 978 runs during the season, got two back in the bottom half, thanks to the speed of Singleton.
When Garcia threw a wild pitch between Oliver's legs, Singleton raced home as Oliver fumbled the ball trying to relay it to Garcia who was covering the plate.
Seattle jumped on reliever Bob Howry in the seventh, loading the bases on Bell's double and two walks. Cameron, the White Sox's 18th-round pick in the 1991 draft, greeted Chad Bradford with a tying single before Ordonez made his strong throw to the plate.
Notes: The White Sox have five players on their roster with previous playoff experience and they're all position players. The Mariners have 13 who have been in the playoffs before, including four pitchers. ... Mike Sirotka and Seattle's Paul Abbott will start Game 2.