SEATTLE (AP)—Ichiro Suzuki is closing in a career milestone that he’s trying not to think about.
Suzuki, 30, has 720 hits in four seasons in Seattle after getting 1,278 in nine years with the Orix Blue Wave in Japan’s Pacific League.
“Right now, I don’t feel anything. Maybe after it’s gone I’ll feel something,” said Suzuki, who went 3-for-5 including a home run. “For now, I haven’t felt anything yet.”
Moyer pitched seven shutout innings and combined with Ron Villone for an eight-hitter in Seattle’s first shutout of the season. It was also the Mariners’ largest margin of victory this year.
The last-place Mariners are 14-26 and 11 1/2 games behind Anaheim in the AL West.
Suzuki is leading the Mariners with a .324 batting average. Speaking through a translator, Suzuki said he wasn’t overly concerned about his team’s slow start.
“We have a lot of games left,” said the three-time All-Star, who has raised his average 66 points by hitting in 17 of the last 18 games since April 29. “If there were two games left in the season, it might be a little different.”
Bret Boone’s two-run single highlighted Seattle’s six-run fifth as the Mariners avoided being swept by the Orioles and ended a three-game losing streak.
Moyer (2-2) gave up seven hits, all singles, struck out two and walked one. In his previous eight starts, Moyer gave up 13 homers, including four at Yankee Stadium last Saturday. He’s tied with Texas’ Chan Ho Park for homers allowed in the AL.
Moyer said the key to his performance was keeping his pitches down in the strike zone.
“They’ve got a lot of high-ball hitters,” he said. “I felt like I had good command. I feel like in some of my games recently I’ve been trying to force the ball in more than I wanted to.”
Baltimore had its three-game winning streak snapped, and was shut out for the second time this season.
Held hitless through the first four innings by Rodrigo Lopez (3-2), the Mariners broke through in the fifth with six runs on seven singles, including two by Edgar Martinez. They sent 11 to the plate in the fifth to equal their biggest inning of the season.
Their seven singles tied the club record for the most singles in an inning.
Manager Bob Melvin said the Mariners collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief on the bench after their six-run inning. The team scored only a total of five runs in their previous three games.
“It was very nice that everybody could relax a little bit after we scored a bunch of runs,” Melvin said. “You can feel it. Anybody who says that they don’t feel what’s going on with us right now isn’t being truthful.”
Lopez, making his first start of the season after 12 relief appearances, loaded the bases on singles by Martinez, John Olerud and Dan Wilson before walking Rich Aurilia on a 3-2 pitch for Seattle’s first run.
Aurilia’s walk was a key to the inning because it got the Mariners their first run.
“I felt like I had a good at-bat,” said Aurilia, who’s hitting .240 and doesn’t have a home run in his first season in Seattle.
“I got down 1 and 2 and I battled,” he said. “He threw me some tough pitches that I fouled off. I was just trying to get the run any way I could.”
Suzuki’s second homer of the season—a solo shot—came off John Parrish for his 21st multihit game this year, second-most in the AL.
Mora was 2-for-4 to raise his AL-leading batting average to .386. It was his 19th multihit game this season.
Lopez allowed six runs on five hits and two walks, with one strikeout and ahit batter. His other loss came in relief against the Mariners April 27.
The Mariners also scored six runs in an inning against the New York Yankees on May 9 and last Sunday. … Mariners starters have seven victories this season, the same number as their bullpen. … In 11 appearances against teams other than the Mariners, Lopez has 23 2-3 scoreless innings. … The Orioles got beat 15-0 by the White Sox in Chicago May 11. … Palmeiro, the all-time home run leader against the Mariners with 49, was 1-for-12 in theseries, a single Wednesday night.