Seattle outfielder hits four home runs, including two in one inning

Cameron brings big stick to Chicago

Posted: Friday, May 03, 2002

CHICAGO -- Mike Cameron was always known as the guy who took away home runs.

Not anymore.

Cameron hit four homers and came close to a record-setting fifth Thursday night, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Chicago White Sox 15-4.

Cameron, until now recognized for his Gold Glove and being part of the trade for Ken Griffey Jr., became only the 13th player in major league history to homer four times in a game and the first since Mark Whiten in 1993.

In the ninth inning, Cameron lined an opposite-field drive that had the Comiskey Park crowd thinking he'd done it. But right fielder Jeff Liefer made a running, backhanded catch at the front of the warning track.

''I'm going to cherish it forever,'' Cameron said. ''I'm going to enjoy this day to the utmost. This is the best day of my baseball career.''

Cameron connected in his first four at-bats, doing it in just five innings. He got two more chances to be the first player in the 132-year history of big league ball to homer five times in a game.

In the seventh, Cameron was hit by a pitch from Mike Porzio in the back of the left thigh, drawing boos from the crowd of 12,891.

Cameron then flied out.

''The wind wasn't going too well to right-center. I hit it well. I struck it as best as I could,'' he said. ''I thought I had a basehit on that one.''

Whiten hit four homers on Sept. 7, 1993, for St. Louis in the second game of a doubleheader. Rocky Colavito was the last to do it in the AL, on June 10, 1959, for Cleveland.

Cameron began his historic night by joining Bret Boone as the first teammates ever to both hit two home runs in the same inning. They connected back-to-back twice in a 10-run first.

''This first one, I got a ball that was kind of in on me a little bit, and I got it up in the wind a bit, I guess,'' he said. ''The second one, I knew I extended it pretty good on this one. I knew that was gone.''

Cameron hit a solo shot in the third inning.

''Just full extension,'' he said. ''I just hit it well.''

With two outs in the fifth, Cameron hit another solo homer on a 2-1 count. As his fourth shot soared toward center field, a loud, ''Ohhhh!'' went up from the crowd. He rounded the bases with a big grin on his face, and slapped hands with third-base coach Dave Myers.

''I was just trying to hit the ball real hard right here. And it just carried out for me,'' he said.

Ruben Sierra, one of Cameron's closest friends on the team, greeted him with a big hug after he crossed home plate. And with the crowd giving him a standing ovation, he headed to the dugout as the rest of the Mariners came out to greet him.

Cameron, 29, started his major league career with the White Sox in 1995.

Cameron began this night with five home runs in 91 at-bats, and he hadn't homered since April 15, a span of 41 at-bats.

In fact, as his average dipped to .238, he visited an eye doctor last week. Because of problems in one eye, he was considering using a contact lens.

Along with his four solo homers -- the first one off Jon Rauch and the last three against Jim Parque -- Cameron made one of his trademark defensive gems. He reached high above the center-field wall to rob Magglio Ordonez of what would have been a grand slam.

Cameron is only the fifth player to hit four home runs consecutively. He had never hit more than two homers in a game.

Yankees 9, Athletics 2

NEW YORK -- Jason Giambi homered and drove in three runs against his former team, and Roger Clemens (4-2) won his third straight start.

Giambi, who bolted Oakland in the offseason for a $120 million, seven-year contract in New York, lifted a low breaking ball from Cory Lidle (1-4) over the right-field fence for a two-run shot in the sixth inning, snapping a 2-all tie.

Clemens earned his 284th victory, passing Jim Kaat on the career list and catching Ferguson Jerkins for 25th place. Clemens struck out nine, allowing two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Angels 8, Indians 0

CLEVELAND -- Kevin Appier (3-1) allowed five hits in six innings and Tim Salmon hit a three-run homer as Anaheim won its seventh straight, completing a three-game sweep in Cleveland for the first time since 1984.

Salmon hit his 250th career homer and Troy Glaus and Bengie Molina had two RBIs apiece for Anaheim, 13-14 after opening the season 6-14.

The Indians lost their fifth straight. They were shut out for the first time this season and have been outscored 114-39 in dropping 14 of 16 following an 11-1 start.

Chuck Finley (2-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings against his former team.

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 3

TORONTO -- Frank Catalanotto hit an RBI double off Mike Smith (0-2) in a four-run fifth inning, and Texas extended its winning streak to a season-high five. The Rangers have won seven of eight, improving to 12-15 with its longest winning streak since last July 24-27.

Toronto, which tied a season-high with three errors, has lost eight in a row for the first time since June 20-27, 1995. The crowd of 13,011 was the second-lowest ever at SkyDome, ahead of only the 12,571 Tuesday night.

Rob Bell (2-0) allowed three runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings, and Hideki Irabu pitched the ninth for his sixth save.

Twins 7, Devil Rays 6

MINNEAPOLIS -- Corey Koskie hit his second homer of the game in the 10th inning off Steve Kent (0-2), who allowed Doug Mientkiewicz's two-run single in the ninth. The Twins overcame a 6-0 deficit and sent Tampa Bay to its seventh straight loss.

Tony Fiore (2-0) pitched three scoreless innings against his former team.

Orioles 6, Royals 2

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore dropped Kansas City interim manager John Mizerock to 0-3.

Sidney Ponson (2-2) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings to beat Kansas City for the second time in six days.

David Segui, Tony Batista and Jeff Conine homered off Paul Byrd (4-2) to give Baltimore a 4-0 lead after three innings. Rick Bauer got four outs for his first major league save.

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