Hideo Nomo failed to post his 200th professional win in his last outing.
Nomo, 36, is one victory shy of automatic induction in the Meikyuakai, one of two Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame equivalents. The Japanese baseball Hall of Fame has elected members, but the Meikyuakai is automatic for players with 2,000 career hits and pitchers with 200 wins.
“Two hundred wins is a lot of wins,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “If you win 200 games in Mexico it would be a lot. It doesn’t matter where you win them. It’s a lot of games, a lot of good pitching. Certainly he’s had a distinguished career. He’s been very professional, competed very well and he’s had the success to prove it.”
Nomo, who has 121 victories in 11 major league seasons, earned his 199th win with his strongest outing of the season, a season-high 7 1-3 innings in a 2-1 win over Oakland on May 26 that halted a six-start winless stretch.
However, he was roughed up by the Athletics for six runs and seven hits in four innings as the Devil Rays suffered their second straight defeat, 10-1. Nomo walked six batters—one shy of his career high—in a game that was televised live by two networks in Japan.
“More important than 200 wins was the fact that we had two disappointing losses,” Nomo said through an interpreter. “I hoped to win one for the team.”
It took Jamie Moyer six attempts to reach his own milestone. The crafty left-hander pitched six solid innings in a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays Monday for his 131st victory with Seattle, passing Randy Johnson, now with the New York Yankees, to become the club’s winningest pitcher.
The 42-year-old Moyer improved to 3-0 with a 3.30 ERA in five starts at home this season.
Matchups between Nomo and Suzuki always generate excitement in Japan. Suzuki batted .372 en route to breaking George Sisler’s single-season hits record last season with 262.
However, the outfielder has struggled against Tampa Bay, going 0-for-7 in the series and batting just .254 lifetime against them.
Pinch-hitter Dave Hansen hit a bases-loaded two-out single to lift the Mariners to a 6-5 win on Saturday, their fifth victory in seven games.
The Devil Rays fell to 1-4 on their 12-game road trip.
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