SEATTLE -- Aaron Sele has spent the past six weeks regaining command of his fastball -- as well as his career.
The 34-year-old right-hander is enjoying a revival in the middle of his 13th big league season, winning for the fourth time in five starts Wednesday night and leading the Seattle Mariners to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sele (6-5) went six innings, allowing eight hits and one first-inning run. He worked out of a critical bases-loaded jam in the fifth by inducing Jim Thome to fly out to center.
Sele, who claimed a position in the Mariners' rotation this spring as a non-roster invitee, was in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation and perhaps the roster in early May when he had a 6.31 ERA. But in his last six starts he has a 1.56 ERA.
"It's something as simple as sitting down with (pitching coach) Bryan Price, looking at some video tape and making some mechanical adjustments," Sele said. "For me, I was pitching up in the zone. When you pitch down in the zone, you get groundballs. I'm a contact pitcher. I'm going to give up some hits, but when you can back up that with some double plays that's great. And if you don't walk a lot of guys, that's a formula you can pitch with."
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said what he has noticed "is his command is much better. His main pitch that he has commanded well has been his fastball."
What Sele also is commanding is the National League. Half of his wins this season have come in interleague play. He is now 18-7 in career interleague starts, tying him for first with Greg Maddux for most wins.
"National League guys are aggressive. They hit off the fastball," added Sele, who has spent his entire career in the American League. "If you make a mistake they make you pay for it, but if you move the ball around a little bit, sink it a little bit, you're going to get groundballs."
The Phillies might have recently been the best team in baseball -- 20-6 since May 15 entering the series -- but have had no success in their brief history with Seattle. The Mariners swept the Phillies two years ago in a three-game series in Philadelphia. The Mariners have outscored the Phillies 24-8 in their five meetings while holding them to a .185 average.
Jimmy Rollins opened the game with a single to center. He then stole his 14th base on an 0-1 pitch to Kenny Lofton. After Lofton flied out, Bobby Abreu hit Sele's first pitch to right field for a RBI single. It was his 48th RBI and ended a 16-inning scoreless streak Sele had put together in his three interleague starts this season.
The Mariners responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Suzuki, who reached 1,000 hits Tuesday, led off with a home run. He hit a 3-2 fastball from Vicente Padilla an estimated 394 feet into the seats over the right-center field fence. It was his 14th career leadoff home run, further enhancing his club record. It also was his fifth hit in five career at-bats against Padilla (3-6).
Then with one out and Raul Ibanez on first, Richie Sexson lifted a low liner into the right-field corner. It just eluded Abreu's stretch and hit the top of the wall for a double. Ibanez held at third but would come home on Jeremy Reed's sacrifice fly to right. It took 26 pitches for Padilla to escape the first.
Winn made it 3-1 with a one-out home run to right in the third. It was his second this season, coming on a 1-0 pitch from Padilla.
Padilla allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Morse, who had three hits, finished the scoring with his two-run homer into the left-field bleachers off Ryan Madson.
"It felt great," said Morse, wiping away shaving lather from his face after a postgame cream pie. "When you hit a ball solid like that it feels really good. I just wanted to see a pitch up because I knew he wanted me to hit into a double play. I caught it good."
Sele, who threw 108 pitches in his six innings, was tested in the fifth when the Phillies mounted a two-out rally. Lofton singled to left followed by a single to center by Abreu, his third straight hit. After a double steal, Sele got Thome on for a routine flyout to center.
The Phillies, one of the best hitting NL teams all season, have been held to just two runs and 11 hits in their two losses here.
"The pitchers haven't been doing anything special," Rollins said. "They have been throwing strikes and putting us in the position where you have to swing the bat. We just have to do a better job at that."
- Much traveled outfielder Kenny Lofton stole his 550th career base in the fifth inning. That ties him with Cesar Cedeno for 25th place in baseball history.
- Catcher Pat Borders, acquired by the Mariners on May 19, is 4-1 when working Sele's starts.
- The Mariners have been held hitless in their last 25 opportunities with runners in scoring position.