“I guess there’s not too many rotations in the major leagues this year or any year that usually have five guys with double-digit wins,” he said. “I’ve never had 10 wins in the major leagues.”
With pro-Boston fans in the Safeco Field crowd of 44,401 chanting “Let’s Go Red Sox!” Boston stayed 2 1/2 games back of the New York Yankees in the AL East with their 28th win in 34 games. The Yankees beat Baltimore 5-2 earlier.
Arroyo (9-9) won his fourth straight decision, allowing four hits, no walks and six strikeouts. He came out with a 7-0 lead after making 85 pitches.
“I’ve been waiting to even it up for a long time,” said Arroyo, who was claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a full season when I was below .500. I’m proud of that—to win more games than you lose every year.”
Arroyo’s next scheduled start is Friday at Yankee Stadium.
“I’ll definitely be looking forward to going out next time against New York,” the 6-foot-5 right-hander said.
The two AL East rivals meet six times in the last three weeks of the season. On July 24, Arroyo touched off a brawl between the teams when he hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. Rodriguez and Boston’s Jason Varitek served four-game suspensions after Varitek pushed Rodriguez in the face. Both benches and bullpens emptied.
First-year manager Terry Francona said he had a lot of optimistic scouting reports about Arroyo when he arrived in Boston in December.
“Everybody kept telling me this kid was going to be good,” Francona said. “To his credit, he’s learned how to work and seized the opportunity. He doesn’t want just want to pitch. He wants to be on a winner and be a contributor.”
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who leads the majors with 229 hits, went 0-for-4 for the second straight night to drop his batting average to .373. He has 21 games left to tie the single-season major league record of 257 set by George Sisler in 1920 for the St. Louis Browns.
Ramirez got the Red Sox off to a quick start in the first inning when he hit his AL-leading 41st homer—and third in two games—on a 1-2 pitch from Jamie Moyer (6-11), a 429-foot shot to center.
Ramirez’s nine homers against Moyer is the most he has hit against any major league pitcher.
Bellhorn tagged his 16th homer of the season, a two-run shot, to cap Boston’s four-run fifth. His homer also came off Moyer, who has allowed a major league-leading 41 home runs, tying Robin Roberts (1955), Phil Niekro (1979) and Rick Helling (1999) for sixth place on the all-time homers allowed list. Bert Blyleven (1986) holds the major league mark with 50.
In the fifth, Johnny Damon had a two-run double for the Red Sox before Bellhorn’s homer.
Damon likes not only the present, but the future for the Red Sox.
“It’s pretty amazing the team we have here and we’re going to have here for many, many years,” he said. “It’s kind of ridiculous. We’ve found our stride. We have guys who know that if they don’t get the job done the first couple at-bats, well, all it takes is one more at-bat for this team.”
Moyer lost his career-high ninth consecutive decision and hasn’t won since June 18. Since then, he’s made 16 appearances—15 starts—and has seen his ERA go to 5.09 from 3.64.
Moyer, 41, was an All-Star and a 21-game winner last season.
Mariners manager Bob Melvin was unavailable to the media after his team’s ninth loss in 10 games.
Pitching coach Bryan Price said Moyer’s problems dealt with his inconsistency.
“In the last three years, he’s been so locked in there hasn’t been a lot of gray area with him,” Price said. “He is in a state of trying to figure out how he can gain consistency.”
LF Ramirez, who let a fly ball bounce off his glove for an error to lead to four unearned runs in Thursday night’s 7-1 loss to Seattle, made a leaping catch into the wall of Jolbert Cabrera’s foul ball to end the Mariners’ fourth. … Boston has won six of seven, 16 of 18, 22 of 25 and 25 of 30. … Boston’s Jason Varitek’s 15-game hitting streak ended. … The Red Sox made two errors and have five errors in the Seattle series. … LHP Randy Williams made his major league debut for the Mariners.