Mariners survive despite sailing close to wind

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All the Seattle Mariners asked Bob Wolcott to give them was a few good innings. Instead, the 22-year-old rookie gave them a game to remember forever.

Wolcott, pitching because the Mariners had no one else, pulled one of baseball's greatest escapes, wriggling free from a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the first inning and beating the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Tuesday night in the first game in the best of seven American League Championship series.

"It was definitely nerve-racking," Wolcott said. "It's a tremendous relief. Anything could have happened. We could've gotten blown out."

"We used so much of our pitching staff in the other series, I just wanted to give them a rest," he said. "I have to admit, I had my doubts in the first inning. But it all worked out."

Showing poise that belied his baby face, Wolcott, making only his eighth major-league appearance, spent the whole evening putting himself in trouble and then getting out. The only sign of stress was the sweat creeping out farther and farther on the bill of his cap.

The Atlanta Braves hit single runs in the ninth and 11th innings to rally for a 2-1 victory in a tense pitching duel with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, to take a 1-0 lead in the National League Championship Series.

Mike Devereaux, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, singled with two out in the top of the 11th to put Fred McGriff home for the run that put them ahead.

The Braves, shut down in the first eight innings by Pete Schourek, Cincinnati's starting pitcher, have scored seven runs in the ninth inning during the play-offs.

The Braves got the benefit of five double plays, four while Tom Glavine, Atlanta's starter, was pitching. "I was fortunate that I made the pitches when guys were on base, and the guys turned the double plays," Glavine said.

The left-hander, who entered the game with a 13-1 record at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium, had five strike-outs and gave up one run in his seven innings of pitching.