- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 5, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) A bad throw by Mariano Rivera to second base on a bunt. A bloop single to shallow center field. A blown game in the final inning.
The New York Yankees had seen all of this before. Only one consolation yesterday this time, it didn't cost them the World Series championship.
Jeff Cirillo took part in an early home-run derby, then hit a tiebreaking single off Rivera in the ninth inning that gave the Seattle Mariners a 9-5 victory over the Yankees.
"Is that deja vu again?" Yankees manager Joe Torre asked.
In a game featuring six home runs, the Mariners won their third in a row. They rallied from a 5-0 deficit, and took advantage of Rivera's mistake to score four times.
For Rivera and the Yankees, it was an eerie repeat of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series. Arizona wound up rallying for two runs that November night, winning 3-2 on a soft single by Luis Gonzalez.
Once again, Rivera made a wide throw to second base on a bunt, setting up a go-ahead single that landed in the grass barely beyond second base.
"What happened is in the past. That's how I treated it," Rivera said. "I was focusing on this game, not on other games."
Desi Relaford singled off Steve Karsay (1-1) to start the Seattle ninth. Rivera relieved and, after fielding Ben Davis' bunt, made a tailing throw to shortstop Derek Jeter.
"It did seem kind of the same with the throw to second, pulling Jeter off and all," Cirillo said.
After a bunt by Luis Ugueto and an intentional walk to Ichiro Suzuki loaded the bases with one out, Cirillo singled for a 6-5 lead.
Ruben Sierra followed with a tapper in front of the plate that also went for an RBI single when Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada both backed off, and John Olerud hit a two-run single.
"The bunt is a great offensive weapon," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "You can't go wrong advancing runners."
The game's first nine runs all scored on homers. The Mariners made it 5-all in the eighth on singles by pinch-hitter Bret Boone and Suzuki and Posada's passed ball.
The Yankees loaded the bases with two outs in their eighth, but Jeff Nelson (1-0) caught Jeter looking at strike three on a 3-2 pitch. Nelson swung his arm and shouted as he ran off the mound.
"Nellie gets revved up," Torre said. "But he gets the job done."
Posada hit a three-run homer that bounced into the monuments beyond the left-center field in the first inning. Alfonso Soriano added a two-run shot in the second for a 5-0 lead off Jamie Moyer.
But Orlando Hernandez, who began the day with an American League-leading 1.75 ERA, let the early edge slip away and tied a career high by giving up four home runs.
Cirillo connected for the third straight game, Davis hit his first AL homer and Carlos Guillen and Olerud added solo shots.
Mike Stanton relieved Hernandez to start the eighth and Boone, out of the starting lineup because of a bruised right heel, led off by legging out an infield hit. Suzuki followed by grounding a single up the middle that sent pinch-runner Ugueto to third.
Karsay relieved and threw a high fastball that Posada could not handle, allowing the tying run to score. Karsay escaped further damage by retiring Guillen on a grounder with the bases loaded.
The Yankees blew their largest lead since squandering a five-run edge last June 17 against the New York Mets.
The Mariners won for the 10th time in 11 regular season games at Yankee Stadium. New York, however, beat Seattle in the AL championship series in 2001 and 2000.
"This is still early May, it's a long season," Nelson said.


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