The Mariners, however, are spelling J-O-S-E C-R-U-Z: sure, he wasn't a pitcher, but manager Lou Piniella sure got bubkus in return. The Orioles exploded for six runs after the sixth inning and blew out the Mariners 9-3. Again. So although the Marlins-Giants games have been thrill-packed, three of four series are 2-0 and on the brink. Which means somebody could be spelling T-E-E T-I-M-E as early as Friday night.
And you thought starting rotations won ballgames. Thursday it was the Cleveland Indians spelling R-E-L-I-E-F as their bullpen staved off two Yankee rallies to even their divisional series at one with a 7-5 victory. Groan of the day for Yankee fans: defensive left fielder Chad Curtis' two-run misplay in the fourth. But it was Jose Mesa who clamped down in the eighth, striking out two with the bases loaded to nip the rally.