It's the bullpen that's scary. Olivares won

By Ken Berger Associated Press Published:

It's the bullpen that's scary. Olivares won his first start for Seattle, but the Mariners needed Mark Holzeberg to get his first major league save as Cleveland rallied in the ninth. Holzeberg, a lefty just called up from Triple-A, did the job with one pitch and the Mariners beat the Indians 6-3 Wednesday night.

"I didn't even get the ball," said Holzemer, who got David Justice to line out to second to end the game with runners at first and third. "I'll have to just get another one and say that was it."

While Olivares (6-6) and Holzeberg achieved firsts, Ken Griffey Jr. had to settle for almost.

Griffey, who has not homered since hitting No. 30 on July 5, was 1-for-4 with a double and a sacrifice fly as his homerless streak reached a season-high 13 games.

Olivares (6-6), acquired with Felipe Lira in a trade with Detroit last Friday, allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.

"I feel like I'm part of a new family," Olivares said.

Maybe it's easy to feel that way when you go from a team that was about 15 games out of first place to one leading its division.

"The difference is, you're trying to win your division," Olivares said. "There's more intensity." The Indians scored once in the ninth with three straight two-out singles off Bobby Ayala, with Manny Ramirez driving in the run. Holzemer, who got got up at 4:30 in the morning and left Tacoma at 6 a.m., was tired and had ice on his shoulder even though he threw only one pitch in the game.

"I threw about 50 pitches in the bullpen and then I came out and threw one pitch and said, `Ah, there it is,"' Holzemer said.

"All you can ask for is to get the tying run to the plate," said Indians manager Mike Hargrove, who was ejected by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth in the eighth for arguing a strike call on Matt Williams.

For some reason, Holzeberg has a knack for achieving milestones with minimal effort. He needed only two pitches to get his first big league victory last year for California against Toronto.

"I got Shawn Green to ground out and then I gave up a homer on the next pitch," Holzemer said. "(Troy) Percival came in and saved the game and that was it. That was weird."

Griffey has one homer in 24 games and is batting .212 since returning from an injured right hamstring on June 28. He almost ended the drought against Eric Plunk in the ninth, hitting a towering drive to right that went foul by about 30 feet before he struck out.

Unlike Tuesday, when Griffey bashed the Mariners front office for the poor timing of an exhibition game in North Carolina, Griffey dressed quickly and left the clubhouse without answering any questions.

He got his 90th RBI of the season when he lofted a foul fly down the left-field line in the sixth after fouling off several 95-mph pitches from Bartolo Colon (2-4). Justice slid in foul territory and made an outstanding catch, then nearly threw out Joey Cora at the plate. Cora was safe, tying the game at 2, and Griffey was credited with a sacrifice fly.

"I'll have to look at the replay of that one," said Seattle's Alex Rodriguez. "It was pretty amazing."

Griffey got revenge with a high drive to left in the eighth that Justice could not reach. It went for a double, and Griffey scored on a single by Edgar Martinez to make it 6-2.

As if his hitting woes weren't frustrating enough, Griffey's usually stellar glove even abandoned him. He sprinted to the right-center field alley in the fifth only to drop a deep liner by Marquis Grissom. It was scored a triple.

"I couldn't believe it," Rodriguez said. "I've never seen him do that."

Paul Sorrento made it 4-2 with his 20th home run off a tiring Colon in the seventh. Cora, who was 3-for-5, added an RBI single off Jose Mesa.

Colon, a 21-year-old prospect, allowed four earned runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked none, struck out four and hit 99 mph on one radar gun.

Notes: Mariners general manager Woody Woodward said Toronto and Philadelphia are two of the "six or seven" teams he's talking with about a trade. "That doesn't mean we're close," said Woodward, who is seeking a starter or reliever for the stretch. Closers Ricky Bottalico of the Phillies and Mike Timlin of the Blue Jays are rumored to be among the players Seattle wants. ... Indians GM John Hart said he's talking trade with about 20 clubs. Cleveland needs a starting pitcher, preferably a No. 1 starter like Philadelphia's Curt Schilling or Kevin Appier of Kansas City.

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