Mariners 5, Pirates 4
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Jamie Moyer left the National League behind long ago. That doesn’t mean he forgot an NL pitcher sometimes needs to be a hitter, too.
Moyer (6-2) hasn’t pitched in the NL since 1991, but he seems to enjoy facing his old league. He’s allowed one run in 13 innings in consecutive interleague starts, shutting out the Expos for seven innings in a 3-0 victory Saturday.
He’s also remembered how to swing the bat, delivering a bases-loaded single over third base in a three-run second inning for his first two RBIs in 16 years. Moyer isn’t a bad hitting pitcher—he hit .230 for the Cubs in 1987— but had only four career RBIs before Friday.
“I told him to wear spikes tomorrow night, we might need a left-handed bat,” Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. “All joking aside, as good as his hitting was, his pitching might have been better, and I think we’re getting used to seeing that.”
Moyer, a 21-game winner last season, isn’t pitching like he’s 41. He is 5-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last six starts, and the Mariners are 8-1 in his past nine starts.
The left-hander struck out four, walked one and allowed three hits in his first start in Pittsburgh since May 21, 1991, when he gave up two homers to Barry Bonds while pitching for St. Louis.
“I didn’t feel overly sharp,” Moyer said. “I made some decent pitches, but I got away with a few pitches. I don’t have a lot of good memories in Pittsburgh in the past, and they had some pretty good teams back when I pitched against them.”
Jason Bay homered twice for the Pirates, who lost their 10th in 12 games. Bay started for the first time since striking out four straight times Tuesday against Anaheim, a discouraging performance that left him sitting with his face buried in his cap long after the game ended.
“Obviously, I was scuffling a little bit,” Bay said. “This was a positive building block.”
Bay’s homer in the second was the only scoring against Moyer. The left-hander went on to retire 12 of the next 13 hitters, walking only Jack Wilson in the third, despite rarely surpassing 85 mph on the radar gun.
Julio Mateo worked a scoreless seventh before the Mariners needed three pitchers to get through a two-run eighth started by Jose Castillo’s double and Tike Redman’s pinch-hit single against Shigetoshi Hasegawa.
Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 16 chances, allowing Bay’s second homer of the game and fifth of the season.
The Mariners stranded runners at first and third in the first inning against Ryan Vogelsong (1-7), but Scott Spiezio and Dan Wilson singled ahead of Ramon Santiago’s walk in the second. After Moyer’s two-run single, Randy Winn hit a sacrifice fly.
“I was just trying to make contact and stay out of a double play, get it to the outfield somehow,” Moyer said. “That was my goal. Did it make to the outfield?”
It did, and it helped send Vogelsong to his seventh straight loss.
“He walked a guy and then hung a slider to the pitcher,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “You should be able to get the pitcher in that situation. He didn’t and we lost the game.”
Vogelsong is winless in 12 starts since beating Philadelphia on April 8. His seven-game losing streak is the Pirates’ longest since Todd Ritchie’s eight-game skid in 2001.
McClendon sat out a one-game suspension because reliever Salomon Torres twice threw behind batters Saturday against Oakland. McClendon has missed four games during three suspensions since mid-May.
The game was the first between the teams. The Pirates have now played everyAL club.
Seattle has won eight of 12. … The Mariners are 11-20 on the road. … The Pirates are 3-12 in games started by opposing left-handers and 2-8 in interleague play. … Redman is 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs since the seventh inning Thursday against Anaheim. … Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4, only the fifth time in 44 games he hasn’t had a hit. … Moyer hadthree RBIs in 1987 and one in 1988.