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Tampa Bay at Seattle

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Tampa Bay «000010000141
Seattle000000000040

One run is enough for Kazmir to earn victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Jamie Moyer has thrown tens of thousands of pitches over his 20 seasons in the major leagues. A pitch he didn't throw cost him Wednesday.

Seattle's 43-year old lost the grip on a fifth-inning pitch as he was starting his delivery, balking in the only run in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' 1-0 victory over the Mariners.

"I didn't have the right grip on the ball, and recognized it," Moyer said. "My body swayed and I couldn't get my foot out the hole. Simple mistake. It cost me the game."

Scott Kazmir allowed only three singles and struck out nine over seven innings for the Devil Rays, who won for only the third time in 10 games and prevented a Seattle sweep of the three-game series.

The previous major league game in which the only run came home on a balk was on June 8, 1998, when the New York Mets beat Boston and Tim Wakefield, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Big as Dallas, he did balk," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

With the count 1-1 to Damon Hollins and runners on second and third in the fifth, Moyer (1-3) asked catcher Rene Rivera to go through his signs again. After beginning his pitching motion, he stepped awkwardly off the pitching rubber with his back foot and looked blankly to first base.

All four umpires called the balk.

"He started and stopped, his whole body," crew chief Gary Darling said.

Moyer did not argue as Toby Hall strolled home. Instead, he yelled a one-word admonishment at himself.

Two of the three singles off Kazmir (5-2) were infield hits, and the 22-year-old's first five outs were strikeouts. He consistently threw 94 mph fastballs, sharply dropping cut fastballs and looping changeups -- which Seattle had not seen in its scouting.

"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable," he said. "Instead of being overwhelmed and thinking I have to make three perfect pitches to strike a guy out, I'm just making quality pitches."

Kazmir has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his eight starts this season while winning games opposite Roy Halladay, Curt Schilling and Wakefield. He retired 16 in a row between Willie Bloomquist's second-inning single and Adrian Beltre's two-out walk in the seventh.

Bloomquist followed with a single, but pinch-hitter Kenji Johjima grounded out.

"Kaz has been even sharper than that," Maddon said. "It's growing into a typical performance for him.

"Potentially -- and very soon -- he's going to be one of the best left-handers in the game."

Richie Sexson struck out twice against Kazmir, dropping his average to .186.

"It's frustrating, kind of a man-tester," Sexson said. "Hopefully, it will turn."

Ruddy Lugo pitched a perfect eighth. and Tyler Walker allowed Raul Ibanez's double to center leading off the ninth. The liner went over Joey Gathright, who had taken three steps in.

Walker then struck out Sexson and Carl Everett, who banged the top of his batting helmet with his bat barrel. Beltre hit the next pitch on one hop to a prone Tomas Perez, who had moved to third base from shortstop in the ninth. Perez got up and threw to first for the final out.

"It's definitely exciting for a young guy to come in and make guys look that bad," Walker said of Kazmir. "The guys in that other clubhouse, you can ask them, they probably don't want to face him again this season."

Moyer again pitched well without a win. He gave up four hits in eight innings, striking out five - but was doomed by his 11th career balk and first since Aug. 19, 2000, at Cleveland.

Notes

  • Kazmir also had a 1-0 win last Sept. 4 at Toronto.
  • After Moyer struck out Ty Wigginton to begin the seventh inning, Wigginton twice whacked his bat into a cement side wall of the dugout. Splinters flew as Wigginton then slammed his batting helmet off a rack. Wigginton, who was leading the AL in with 30 RBIs on Sunday, was 0-for-3 and 4-for-20 on Tampa Bay's trip.
  • The last time Moyer balked home a run was April 28, 1996, for the Red Sox versus Kansas City.
  • Hall ended an 0-for-15 skid with a double and single.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scott Kazmir has 23 strikeouts over his last three starts, while giving up two earned runs.  (AP)
Scott Kazmir has 23 strikeouts over his last three starts, while giving up two earned runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

J. Moyer
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 0
K 5
Tampa Bay

S. Kazmir
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 9
 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Damon Hollins, RF4010001
Carl Crawford, LF3000000
Jonny Gomes, DH4000021
Aubrey Huff, 3B4000001
    Julio Lugo, SS0000000
Ty Wigginton, 2B3000010
Toby Hall, C3120000
Travis Lee, 1B3010011
Tomas Perez, SS-3B3000003
Joey Gathright, CF3000010
Totals30140057 
Batting
2B - Damon Hollins (, Moyer), Toby Hall (, Moyer)
SH - Carl Crawford ()
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Tomas Perez (, misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir (W,-) 7300190
Ruddy Lugo (H,) 1000000
Tyler Walker (S,) 1100020
WP - Scott Kazmir ()
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 110-70, Ruddy Lugo 14-10, Tyler Walker 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 10-3, Ruddy Lugo 1-2, Tyler Walker 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 26, Ruddy Lugo 3, Tyler Walker 4
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4010010
Jose Lopez, 2B4000011
Raul Ibanez, LF4010011
Richie Sexson, 1B4000032
Carl Everett, DH4000011
Adrian Beltre, 3B3000122
Willie Bloomquist, CF-SS3020000
Rene Rivera, C2000022
   a- Kenji Johjima, PH-C1000002
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS2000002
   b- Roberto Petagine, PH1000000
    Jeremy Reed, CF0000000
Totals3204011113 
a-grounded out for Rivera in the 7th
b-popped out for Betancourt in the 8th
Batting
2B - Raul Ibanez (, T. Walker)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (, 3rd base off Kazmir/Hall)
Team LOB - 6
Seattle Mariners
Jamie Moyer (L,-) 8411050
Eddie Guardado 1000000
Pitches-Strikes - Jamie Moyer 114-78, Eddie Guardado 7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jamie Moyer 9-10, Eddie Guardado 1-2
Batters Faced - Jamie Moyer 28, Eddie Guardado 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21806
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Gary Darling