- The Washington Times - Friday, May 3, 2002

CHICAGO Mike Cameron hit four home runs and came close to a record-setting fifth last night, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Chicago White Sox 15-4.

Cameron, until now known for leaping catches 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.

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

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. He then flied out.

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

Mark Whiten was the last player to homer four times in a game, doing it Sept. 7, 1993, for St. Louis in the second game of a doubleheader. Rocky Colavito was the last to do it in the American League on June 10, 1959, for Cleveland.

Cameron hit a solo shot in the third inning and added another solo homer with two outs in the fifth. 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.

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, began the 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.

Carlos Lee and Royce Clayton hit solo homers for the White Sox. Rauch (0-1) allowed eight runs five earned and six hits in just one-third of an inning. He was booed as he left the field.

James Baldwin (3-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings to beat his old team. Of course, he's got Cameron to thank for that.

Cameron started his major league career with the White Sox in 1995 and joined Cincinnati in 1999. After one season with the Reds, he was traded to Seattle as part of the deal for Griffey. Last year, Cameron hit a career-high 25 home runs.

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