Jamie Moyer’s season has consisted of a series of streaks. He looks poised to begin another one.
Coming off one of his best outings of the season, Moyer aims to move into a tie for the major league lead in victories as the Seattle Mariners continue their three-game series against the Texas Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington.
The veteran left-hander enjoyed one of the best stretches of his career earlier this season, boasting a 2.24 ERA in winning seven straight starts from May 6-June 8. He then posted a 4.93 ERA in losing three straight, games in which the Mariners never held the lead.
Now Moyer, on the brink of tying Toronto’s Roy Halladay with 12 wins, appears ready for another run after seemingly regaining his dominant form.
In Monday’s 3-1 win over Oakland, Moyer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on the way on his 11th win of the season. He retired 17 straight at one point.
“He did the same stuff he’s being doing for years,” A’s third baseman Eric Chavez said. “He’s got that great change-up.”
Moyer allowed one run and four hits over 7 1-3 innings, striking out two and walking two. He may have been at his best after loading the bases in the seventh, getting Ramon Hernandez and Terrence Long to ground out.
“You’ve still got to pitch as you get deeper into the game,” Moyer said, “regardless of the situation.”
Seattle’s 7-3 loss Friday in the opening game of the series was its third in four games.
Juan Gonzalez hit a three-run homer as the Rangers used a five-run fourth inning to snap their two-game skid.
Gonzalez, who turned down a trade to Montreal early last week and has been the subject of constant trade rumors ever since, hit his first homer in nearly a month. Though he has been bothered by soreness in his left leg, Gonzalez is hitting .318 (14-for-44) with 11 RBIs over his last 12 games.
STANDINGS: Mariners - 1st place, AL West. Rangers - 4th place, 20 GB, AL West.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Moyer (11-5, 3.01 ERA). In 25 career appearances against Texas, including 23 starts, Moyer is 10-3 with a 5.16 ERA.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: John Thomson (5-9, 5.90 ERA). Thomson broke a three-start winless streak with Monday’s 6-3 win over Anaheim. The veteran right-hander, who was 0-2 with an 11.49 ERA during the skid, yielded three runs and three hits, including two homers, over seven innings, striking out four and walking one. Thomson is 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts against Seattle.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .346 avg. and 22 SBs; Bret Boone, 22 HRs and 70 RBIs; Suzuki and Boone, 63 runs. Rangers - Hank Blalock, .334 avg.; Alex Rodriguez, 21 HRs and 57 runs; Gonzalez, 57 RBIs; Rodriguez and Michael Young, 7 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 4-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - Seattle’s 30-14 road record is the best in the majors. … OF Suzuki, who had two hits Friday, has hit seven of his 23 career home runs against Rangers. … 1B John Olerud missed his fourth straight game Friday because of a strained right hamstring. He is listed as day-to-day. Rangers - OF Gonzalez is batting .417 against LHP Moyer with three doubles, two homers and six RBIS. … 1B Rafael Palmeiro, who has four homers over his last 10 games, needs one more to give him 13 consecutive seasons with at least 20. … RHP Jeff Zimmerman threw in the bullpen before the game following an abbreviated simulated game in Anaheim on Thursday, when he experienced tightness in his right forearm. Zimmerman, the team’s former closer, shut down Thursday’s session after 23 pitches.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 30-14 on the road; Rangers - 19-23 at home.
INJURIES: Mariners - 1B Olerud (hamstring), day-to-day; RHP Kazuhiro Sasaki (ribs), 15-day DL. Rangers - LHP Aaron Fultz (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; IF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL.