Jorge Sosa Shuts Down Seattle Mariners

Friday, September 5th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Six seasons into his pro career, Jorge Sosa was going nowhere. An outfielder with hardly any power or speed, he was a career .222 hitter in the minors with a dim future.

That is, until the Seattle Mariners got him from the Colorado organization and turned him into a pitcher in 2001.

On Thursday night, Sosa showed Seattle it made the right move with him. Too bad for the Mariners, he did it against them.

Sosa pitched a four-hitter and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays again blanked Seattle, 1-0 at Tropicana Field.

Combined with Doug Waechter's two-hitter in his first major league start Wednesday, the Devil Rays posted consecutive complete-game shutouts for the first time in their six-year history.

``I was motivated pitching against them,'' Sosa said through an interpreter.

In other AL games, New York topped Toronto 3-2, Baltimore beat Oakland 7-5 and Detroit defeated Cleveland 2-1.

In an interleague game, Arizona downed Kansas City 6-5 in 10 innings.

Sosa (5-9) struck out six and walked two in his first complete game in 29 career starts. He fanned Bret Boone three times.

Sosa won for the first time since July 31. He was later dropped from the rotation, then started and got a no-decision against the Mariners on Aug. 28.

The loss dropped Seattle a half-game behind Boston in the AL wild-card race. The Mariners are two games back of AL West-leading Oakland.

``We shouldn't be shut out for 18 innings against guys like that,'' Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. ``It's a hard thing to swallow right now because of the point of the season we're in.

``We've had an opportunity to pick up some ground the last couple of games,'' he said. ``These guys are playing well over there, but it's a pitching staff that shouldn't shut us out for two games. It's two pitchers ... it wasn't even a staff.''

Damian Rolls' RBI double in the second inning accounted for the only run. Ryan Franklin (9-12) lost despite pitching a six-hitter.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2

Manager Joe Torre held a team meeting before the game, then watched his Yankees pull out a win at SkyDome.

Coming off two straight losses to Toronto, New York won behind Jose Contreras' seven impressive innings. Karim Garcia hit a go-ahead double in the eighth.

Alfonso Soriano homered for the Yankees, who lead Boston by 3 1/2 games in the AL East going into a three-game weekend series with the Red Sox. Pedro Martinez will start the opener against Andy Pettitte.

The Yankees called up former Michigan quarterback Drew Henson from Triple-A Columbus. He hit .234 with 14 home runs and 78 RBIs, but also struck out 122 times and made 28 errors at third base, prompting rumors he would quit baseball for football. The Houston Texans picked him in the sixth round of the NFL draft last April.

Orioles 7, Athletics 5

Brian Roberts and Larry Bigbie each drove in two runs and Baltimore's bullpen shut down Oakland at Camden Yards.

The AL West-leading A's loss their second in a row following a 10-game winning streak. Billy McMillon and Eric Chavez hit consecutive home runs for Oakland.

Three Orioles relievers blanked the A's on three hits over the last 4 1-3 innings.

Tigers 2, Indians 1

Gary Knotts returned from the minors and pitched Detroit to its third straight victory.

At 37-102, the Tigers posted their longest winning streak since taking three in a row on July 8-10 against the White Sox.

Knotts held visiting Cleveland to one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He won in his first major league start since being sent to Triple-A Toledo on June 23.

Jake Westbrook lost despite pitching a five-hitter for his first complete game in 31 career major league starts.

Diamondbacks 6, Royals 5, 10 innings

Lyle Overbay's pinch-hit RBI single in the 10th inning at Kansas City helped Arizona snap a five-game losing streak.

The Royals tied it in the ninth on Ken Harvey's sacrifice fly off Matt Mantei.

Randy Johnson allowed four runs and 10 hits in five innings for the Diamondbacks, who moved within five games of the NL wild-card lead.