SEATTLE (AP) -- 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
"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
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
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
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
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
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.