Mariners 4, Rangers 1
SEATTLE (AP)—Jamie Moyer isn’t too worried about Seattle’s rough start.
Moyer (1-1) returned to the form he showed as a first-time All-Star and 21-game winner last year. He got off to a slow start this season with a loss and no-decision in his first two outings.
“I was getting ahead in the counts and throwing strikes,” Moyer said. “I had one spell, maybe the third or fourth inning, where I walked two guys. I just felt like I had real good command and I was able to keep the ball down. I had some good plays behind me and we scored some runs.”
He gave up one run with five strikeouts and two walks, improving to 13-3 lifetime against the Rangers by beating them for the seventh straight time. Moyer hasn’t lost to Texas since July 4, 2001.
“He is a great pitcher,” Rangers shortstop Michael Young said. “You can do everything. You can look at film. You can look at scouting reports and still it doesn’t do you any good when you get in the box against him.”
“This was our first lineup, the lineup we envisioned on opening day,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We brought a little energy. Jamie did his thing. Dan-O got a big hit. It ended up being the type of game that we feel are our games.”
The Mariners finally were able to relax and have some fun on the field after they tied the franchise’s worst start at 2-8.
“The statement has been thrown around a lot in the last 10 days around here, but it’s a long year,” Moyer said. “It’s a fact. It’s a really long year.”
Spiezio was on the disabled list for the first two weeks with soft tissue damage in his back, but finally showed why the Mariners signed him as a free agent last winter.
“It’s great to come back and be able to play,” Spiezio said. “The biggest thing, though, was to win as a team. Hopefully, we can start rolling.”
Activated shortly after batting practice, his fourth-inning single was Seattle’s first hit. Spiezio also started the sixth with a double off the wall in left and scored on a single by Rich Aurilia.
“We have guys behind me who are capable of driving in runs from third,” Aurilia said. “I was just trying to go the other way.”
The Rangers, with 10 or more hits in seven of their last eight games, took a quick 1-0 lead. Young led off with a double to center, went to third when Hank Blalock flied to center and scored on Alfonso Soriano’s sacrifice fly.
Just like that, it seemed the Mariners would be in for another tough night— especially with Colby Lewis (1-1) methodically setting down Seattle’s hitters through four innings.
He was going strong until allowing a two-out single by Spiezio in the fourth. Then Lewis walked Aurilia and Raul Ibanez, and Wilson cleared the bases with a double that bounced on the warning track in center field.
“I got a pitch that was up in the strike zone,” Wilson said. “I hit it off the end of the bat a little bit and I thought he was going to run it down. There’s just a lot of real estate out there.”
Moyer, meanwhile, had a strong night. The 41-year-old left-hander consistently hit the corners with his typical accuracy, and he made the Texas hitters look silly with his 75 mph changeup.
“We don’t feel like he’s been picking on us,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ve had moments against him. He has been doing it to a lot of people. He was very effective tonight.”
Lewis threw five innings, giving up three runs on three hits with fivestrikeouts and four walks.
Going into Sunday’s finale of a three-game set, Texas has never won a series at Safeco Field. The Rangers are 0-11-1 in 12 previous series. … The Mariners have been outscored 21-6 in the first three innings this season, including 17-1 in the second. Seattle has gone scoreless in the first three innings of the last four games. … Rangers RHP Jeff Nelson, a former Mariner, received a mix of cheers and boos when he entered in the seventh. … Seattle RF Ichiro Suzuki broke an 0-for-12 skid with a leadoff single in the fifth. He also robbed Texas C Gerald Laird of a single in the eighth with a slidingcatch.