Mariners 9, Devil Rays 3
Add it up, and it equaled the end of the Mariners’ six-game losing streak.
Moyer pitched seven innings for his first victory in three weeks and Carlos Guillen hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-high five runs as the Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 9-3 on Tuesday night.
“A lot of great things happened tonight,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said.
Guillen and Dan Wilson each had two-run singles in the seventh as Seattle went ahead 9-3, scoring five runs on three hits. Tampa Bay relievers Brandon Backe and Jesus Colome combined to issued five walks that inning, one intentional.
“You walk people consistently, you are going to lose baseball games. Period,” said Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella, making his second trip back to Seattle. “You might get lucky every once in a while, but not very often.”
Especially the way Moyer (16-6) was throwing.
He won for the first time since Aug. 5, finally securing his 16th win after a loss and two starts without a decision. He allowed three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
“I had pretty good command of all my pitches,” Moyer said. “It makes a difference. I was hitting pretty much every pitch anytime I wanted it.”
After falling behind 3-0 in the first on a three-run homer by Aubrey Huff, Moyer settled and held the Devil Rays scoreless on four hits over the next six innings.
“To not let down, to do what Jamie did after giving up the three runs right away, it would be easy to slump your shoulders and say, ‘Here we go again,”’ Melvin said. “He resisted that. He battled, like he always does, and kept us in the game.”
“I try to be the guy who goes out and pitches consistently,” Moyer said. “I try to make good pitches and see what happens. Sometimes, they fall in. The idea is to make good pitches and get ahead in the count.”
Victor Zambrano (9-8), who barely missed his first career complete game in a July 12 victory at Safeco Field, lasted 5 2-3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.
It was the sixth straight game Zambrano has issued at least four walks. He leads the AL with 91.
“That’s been our problem, and tonight six of them (walks) scored,” Piniella said.
Piniella made his second trip as manager of the Devil Rays to Seattle, where he led the Mariners for 10 years. He left after last season to live closer to his family in Florida.
This visit lacked the fanfare of his emotional return July 11. There was no pregame ceremony to honor Piniella and only a few scattered handmade signs in the crowd to welcome him back.
“We’re just going to play baseball this time,” Piniella said.
Seattle went ahead 4-3 in the fifth, scoring four runs. It started when Guillen, whom Melvin moved to third in the order, drove a 1-2 pitch an estimated 408 feet to near-straightaway center.
“I hit ninth last year,” Guillen said. “I’m making more contact now, keeping the ball on the ground and making big cuts. I’m not really a home run hitter.”
Wilson and Mark McLemore were on base after walking.
“Walks score,” Piniella said. “Zambrano was upset about the home run ball, and I said, ‘Look, it wasn’t the home run ball. It was the two walks prior to the home run ball.”’
After Bret Boone went down swinging for the second out, John Olerud doubled and scored on Randy Winn’s single to right. Tampa Bay’s Damian Rolls made agood throw to the plate, but Olerud slid under Toby Hall’s tag.
Seattle DH Edgar Martinez, who missed two games after fouling a ball off a toe last weekend in Boston, got a standing ovation when he pinch-hit with the bases loaded in the seventh. He grounded into a double play. … McLemore had a nice play in the sixth, covering ground in left field before making a dive-and-roll catch on Julio Lugo’s liner. … Fans called “Lo-o-o-o-u” when Piniella visited Zambrano after Guillen’s homer and again when he removedZambrano in the sixth.