Mariners 3, Athletics 1
Moyer took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning on the way to his 11th win of the season, outpitching Harang as the Seattle Mariners beat the Athletics 3-1 Monday night.
The left-hander became the fifth 11-game winner in the majors and Greg Colbrunn added a pinch-hit home run off Ricardo Rincon in the ninth for the Mariners, who moved seven games ahead of the A’s in the AL West.
Moyer (11-5) walked Erubiel Durazo in the first before retiring the next 17 batters. The 40-year-old Moyer, who kept the A’s hitters guessing with his typical array of off-speed pitches, broke a three-game losing streak.
“I kind of felt like a couple hits were going to win it,” Moyer said. “A couple hits did win it.”
Last June 26, Harang threw 6 1-3 shutout innings and Moyer tossed seven shutout innings in a 1-0 Seattle win at Safeco Field.
After retiring Scott Hatteberg to lead off the seventh Monday, Moyer allowed three straight hits to load the bases. Durazo hit a bloop single into shallow left just over third baseman Mark McLemore to break up the no-hit bid. Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez followed with singles, then Moyer walked Adam Piatt with the bases loaded. Moyer then got pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez and Terrence Long to ground out.
“You’ve still got to pitch as you get deeper into the game, regardless of the situation,” Moyer said.
The A’s, who used a second-half surge to win 103 games in 2002 and capture the division, have lost five of their last seven games and trail the Mariners 5-3 in the season series. Seattle took three of four April 14-27 at Safeco Field.
This game was the second of two makeup games after the teams’ season-opening series scheduled for Japan was canceled leading up to the war in Iraq.
Moyer left with one out in the eighth after Eric Byrnes doubled. Arthur Rhodes relieved and gave up a single to Hatteberg and walked Durazo to load the bases. Tejada hit into a forceout at the plate and Chavez grounded out as Seattle survived another scare.
Rhodes, who has held Tejada to 1-for-17 in their career meetings, gave up a grand slam to San Diego’s Rondell White in the ninth on Sunday in an 8-6 loss to the Padres.
“Yesterday was over with,” he said. “I came out with the bases loaded and last night was not in the back of my mind.”
Jeff Nelson pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
Moyer allowed one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out two and walking two.
Harang, who gave up only three hits through six innings, retired the first eight batters and then seven straight during another stretch before getting tagged for three straight one-out hits in the seventh. Randy Winn followed singles by John Olerud and Mike Cameron with a run-scoring single to left-center for a 1-0 Seattle lead.
Jeff Cirillo then bunted home a run, diving and rolling to touch first. He was initially called safe but then was ruled out because he ran about 5 feet out of the baseline. A’s manager Ken Macha sprinted onto the field to argue the original call and Hatteberg pointed out to first base umpire Jerry Layne that Cirillo had run out of bounds.
Cirillo angrily threw his batting helmet back toward the first-base line as he stomped into the dugout and home plate umpire Greg Gibson immediately ejected him. Cirillo briefly went into the dugout then came charging back out toward Gibson and had to be restrained by manager Bob Melvin and shortstop Carlos Guillen.
After seeing himself on a television replay, Cirillo had time to shave his goatee before the game ended—which served as a calming influence.
“I saw it on the camera and said ‘That looks stupid,”’ he said. “I was either going to throw more stuff or go shave.”
He said his helmet traveled further than he expected. He made a conscious decision to argue.
“If I’m going to get fined, I may as well get my money’s worth and embarrass my family,” he said jokingly.
Harang (1-2) gave up six hits and two runs in seven innings.
“After the third inning, I started thinking about that game in Seattle and how it has happened to us before,” Harang said of the matchup with Moyer. “Ifeel like I’m in a groove right now. Moyer just pitched a little better.”
Byrnes doubled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. … Durazo has reached base safely in his last 30 games. … Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 and is hitless in 10 at-bats against Harang. … Colbrunn hit his ninth career pinch-hit homer. … Winn attempted a catch in foul territory in left in the seventh but didn’t get it—and it was a good thing. Had he made the catch,the tying run would have come home.