CHICAGO (AP)—At 43, Jamie Moyer’s stuff is slower than ever, though just as effective.
Making his Phillies debut, Moyer got his first victory in five starts, leading Philadelphia to a 6-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night. He became the oldest Phillies pitcher to record a victory in franchise history.
“He throws under the speed limit, which is as effective sometimes as throwing over the speed limit,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
Jimmy Rollins had an RBI triple in the third and the Phillies broke open a close game with three runs in the sixth to win their fourth game in a row and keep pace in the NL wild-card race.
The Phillies remained 2 1/2 games behind wild-card leading Cincinnati, which beat Houston 14-0. Philadelphia improved to 63-62, marking the first time they’ve been over .500 since they were 33-32 on June 14.
“We got some big hits at the right time tonight,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “We kind of divided our offense. It was consistent throughout our lineup.”
Moyer (1-0) had a no-hitter through 4 1-3 innings, with two batters reaching on errors and one on a walk. He gave up three runs and six hits over six innings to earn his first win since July 26 and second since June 24.
“I’ll take it,” he said. “I like this environment. It’s a great clubhouse for the two days I’ve been here.”
Ryan Madson pitched the ninth for his first save in three chances this season.
Moyer was acquired from Seattle—where he is the all-time leader in wins, starts and innings—on Saturday night. He made his first start at Wrigley Field since Oct. 2, 1988, when he was at the end of a three-year tenure with the Cubs, who drafted him in 1984.
“He pitched like I’ve always seen him pitch,” Manuel said. “He got a lot of ground balls, a lot chopped back. He pitched real good and he fits in.”
Moyer returned to Wrigley with his wife, children, parents, father-in-law Digger Phelps and his college roommate in tow, among others.
“It’s nice to be able to come in here and put some zeros up on the board and get some run support,” Moyer said. “Compared to the situation I just left, there’s a lot more fun involved with this.”
Cubs rookie Ryan O’Malley (1-1) left the game in the fifth with a strained left elbow, and will be re-evaluated Wednesday. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002, the left-hander has never been on the DL.
“I don’t know, bad luck,” Baker said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
He said he began feeling stiffness in his forearm in the third inning and then a twinge in his elbow in the fifth after throwing a ball back to the umpire. With a one-ball count to Rollins with two outs, O’Malley stepped off the mound and started shaking his left arm. He met with coaches and the assistant trainer on the mound and was then replaced by Glendon Rusch.
“My debut at Wrigley Field,” said the Springfield, Ill. native, “it’s a dream come true to be out there. It would have taken anything to get me out of there. Unfortunately, I just didn’t want to push it any farther.”
O’Malley, who gave up three runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings, was making his first start since throwing eight scoreless innings in a 1-0 win at Houston last week in his major league debut.
With the Phillies up 3-0 in the fifth, Henry Blanco ended Moyer’s no-hit bid with a single past third base. Ronny Cedeno then reached on a single off Rollins’ glove and Glendon Rusch moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt.
The Phillies came right back. Pat Burrell and David Dellucci had RBI doubles and Shane Victorino a run-scoring single in the sixth to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead. All three runs were charged to Rusch.
“You’ve got to shut them down right there and give your offense a chance to come back,” Baker said.
Moyer gave up three hits in the sixth and Henry Blanco had an RBI single with two outs to cut the Phillies’ lead to three.
Ryan Theriot had a two-out double in the seventh, but was caught stealing third to end the inning. He went on his own, much to Baker’s chagrin.
“That shocked us all,” Baker said. “That wasn’t a good play. That was a bad play, especially with the three-four-five (hitters) coming up there.”
Burrell had an RBI groundout in the first with the bases loaded, scoring Victorino. O’Malley walked Victorino to start the game and hit Ryan Howard to load the bases.
O’Malley gave up a single to Victorino in the third but started a rundown to get him out. He then gave up a single to Danny Sandoval, who scored on Rollins’ fifth triple of the season. Rollins scored on Howard’s grounder.
Moyer, 6-12 with a 4.39 ERA with the Mariners, hadn’t pitched for an NL team since he went 0-5 in eight games with St. Louis in 1991. … Jerry Koosman was previously the oldest Phillie to get a win, when he did it at 42 in 1985. … The Cubs put SS Cesar Izturis on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring and called up OF-INF Buck Coats, who struck out in his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. … Cedeno moved back to SS from 2B and had a throwing error in the seventh. … The Phillies traded for utilityman Jose Hernandez before the game, giving the Pirates cash in return. … OF Aaron Rowand went on the 15-day DL with a broken left ankle one day after colliding with Chase Utley on a fly ball. Utley missed Tuesday’s game due to soreness in his right leg and ankle. … OF Pierre extended his hitting streak to 14 games. … Madson picked up his second career save, and first since May 13, 2004.