Anaheim’s Ramon Ortiz looks to win his fifth straight start and outduel Seattle’s 10-game winner, Jamie Moyer, for the second time in less than a week as the Angels resume a three-game series with the Mariners at Edison Field.
Ortiz, who endured a five-start winless streak in May, has been unbeatable in June, going 4-0 while yielding 10 earned runs over 26 2-3 innings. He has been particularly sharp of late, allowing just one earned run over 14 2-3 innings in his last two starts.
Matched up against Moyer at Safeco Field on Thursday, Ortiz had one of his best outings of the year, allowing six hits over 7 2-3 innings as the defending World Series champions blanked the major league-leading Mariners 2-0.
Ortiz struck out six and walked one, earning high praise from manager Mike Scioscia.
“He did a terrific job of hitting spots with his fastball,” Scioscia said. “When he needed to make a pitch, he made it. I thought his slider was better today. He was able to pitch ahead in the count, and that’s important.”
Moyer, who had beaten the Angels five straight times, including twice earlier this year, also tipped his hat to the opposing right-hander.
“I can’t be disheartened or upset. I respect my teammates,” Moyer said. “They are trying to the best of their abilities and Mr. Ortiz threw the ball rather well.”
Moyer, who yielded two runs over eight solid innings in Thursday’s setback, has lost consecutive starts for the first time this season. With a win, he can join Esteban Loaiza, Roy Halladay and Shawn Chacon as the majors’ 11-game winners.
The Mariners became the majors’ first 50-win team Tuesday, taking the series opener 6-4. Freddy Garcia won his sixth straight start and Mike Cameron and Bret Boone homered for Seattle, which took three of four from Anaheim last week at Safeco Field.
The third-place Angels are 7 1/2 games behind Oakland in the wild card standings following their seventh loss in nine games.
STANDINGS: Mariners - 1st place, AL West. Angels - 3rd place, 13 1/2 GB, AL West.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Moyer (10-4, 2.93 ERA). Moyer has allowed just two runs and 15 hits over 22 innings in his three starts against Anaheim this year. He is 13-9 with a 4.70 ERA in 32 career appearances, including 27 starts, against the Angels.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Ortiz (8-5, 4.67 ERA). Ortiz is 4-6 with a 3.39 ERA in 11 career starts against Seattle.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .358 avg. and 18 SBs.; Boone, 21 HRs, 63 RBIs and 58 runs. Angels - Garret Anderson, .312 avg., 18 HRs and 66 RBIs; Troy Glaus, 44 runs; Adam Kennedy, 11 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 7-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - OF Suzuki had two hits Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, four shy of his career best. … RHP Jeff Nelson, who squandered a three-run, ninth-inning lead in Friday’s 5-3 loss at San Diego, bounced back Tuesday with his sixth save of the year. … 2B Boone is 12-for-29 (.414) with a homer and four RBIs in his career against RHP Ortiz. Angels - Manager Scioscia shuffled his lineup in the opener of the three-game series, moving .231-hitting SS David Eckstein from leadoff to the ninth spot for the first time since 2001 and batting OF Darin Erstad first. Eckstein was 0-for-3 and has one hit in his last 28 at-bats. … 3B Glaus returned to action Tuesday after missing the previous two games with back spasms. … OF Anderson is hitting .390 (23-for-59) with five homers and 15 RBIs in his career against LHP Moyer.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 27-10 on the road; Angels - 18-16 at home.