Mariners 5, Rangers 1
“We couldn’t have had a better guy for a game like that,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s a guy who’s been through the wars.”
Seattle ended a three-game losing streak and moved within 1 1/2 games of Boston in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox lost 7-0 to Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Moyer (19-7) allowed one run on four hits while striking out five and walking two in becoming the fourth AL pitcher to win at least 19 games. He improved to 12-3 in his career against Texas.
“You want to keep it simple and do the job to the best of your ability,” Moyer said. “You want to make every pitch count.”
Moyer consistently pitched ahead in the count and allowed more than one baserunner in only two of his eight innings.
“The most important thing is that he had the inside corner,” Mariners catcher Dan Wilson said. “He made great pitches all night long. He locked into a real nice rhythm.”
The Rangers’ power hitters got few good swings at Moyer. Hank Blalock’s double was Texas’ only extra-base hit.
“(Moyer) is a great example of pitching instead of throwing,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s an athlete and at 40, he does more than guys 15 years younger can do.”
Guillen homered in the first for the Mariners, who remain 4 1/2 games behind Oakland in the AL West. Oakland beat Anaheim 2-1 Wednesday.
The Mariners have a three-game series at Oakland this weekend.
“Our focus is just winning that day,” Melvin said. “If the focus is on watching the scoreboard or worrying about the next series, you’re not doing your job.”
The Mariners, who lost the first two games of the four-game series, made it 3-0 after an error by Texas second baseman Michael Young on a potential double-play ball in the second.
With the bases loaded and one out, Wilson grounded to Alex Rodriguez, who threw to Young at second for a forceout as John Olerud scored from third. An aggressive slide by Rey Sanchez forced Young to make a difficult throw to first. The ball bounced into the dugout and Randy Winn scored from second.
Olerud gave Seattle a 4-0 lead when he drove in Bret Boone with an RBI single in the third.
The Mariners chased Texas starter Ryan Drese (2-4) in the fourth when Wilson drove in Winn with a one-out RBI double that made it 5-0.
Moyer was perfect over the first three innings but the Rangers got a run in the fourth when Young singled and scored on Blalock’s double.
Drese allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits over 3 1-3 innings.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa pitched a scoreless ninth for Seattle.
Moyer and Rangers 1B Rafael Palmeiro have been teammates three different times—with the Rangers, Cubs, and Orioles. … Boone stole his 15th base, a new career high. … Young scored his 100th run of the season. … The Mariners have had a pitcher win at least 19 games five times. Moyer won 20 in2001.