Sexson's slam helps Moyer get first win in four starts

SEATTLE (AP) -- Richie Sexson came through with a clutch hit, Seattle's offense finally gave Jamie Moyer some run support and fiery Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect ninth inning.

Maybe these Seattle Mariners won't be an afterthought in the AL West.

Sexson capped a five-run fifth inning with his second grand slam of the season and Moyer won for the first time in four starts as Seattle extended its winning streak to a season-high four games with an 8-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.

Less than a week ago, Seattle was a season-worst eight games under .500 after getting swept in three games by Oakland. Now, the Mariners have put together their longest win streak since July 7-10 last season when they swept a four-game series against the Angels.

"We're still in this thing and we're excited about that. We just got to get on a roll and find a way to string together some," said Sexson, who hit a changeup from Baltimore starter Erik Bedard an estimated 421 feet to right-center. "I told the guys, 'Just keep it close and once I get going, we'll be a lot better.' "

Hurt by a lack of run support all season, Moyer got just enough offense from his teammates to earn his first victory since April 30.

Jose Lopez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, the first time Seattle's offense had scored with Moyer on the mound since May 5 -- a span of 15 innings. Entering the game, the Mariners had scored just 14 runs this season while Moyer was in the game.

Seattle didn't score more than four runs for Moyer (2-4) in any of his nine previous starts. Afterward, he continued to take the high road and not criticize the previous lack of production by his offense.

"I'm happy to see us as a team scoring runs and swinging the bat and doing a lot of good things offensively," Moyer said. "It's nice to see it all working together and us doing it all at once."

Guardado pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since April 30, after losing the closer's job to J.J. Putz. It was Guardado's fifth save in eight chances this year. He got Javy Lopez swinging for the final out -- his bat slipped out of his hands and sailed into the Orioles' dugout.

Miguel Tejada homered for Baltimore, which lost for the eighth time in nine road games.

"We just couldn't get the big hit," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said.

Jose Lopez's homer was his seventh, and his infield single in the fifth scored Yuniesky Betancourt for his 37th RBI, tops among all second basemen. Jose Lopez hit a slow dribbler to third and Melvin Mora threw home trying to get Betancourt, but the Seattle shortstop neatly slid around the tag of catcher Ramon Hernandez.

Raul Ibanez then walked for the third time, and Sexson rocketed a 1-0 pitch from Bedard for his sixth homer of the season and his first off a left-hander.

Since starting the season 4-0, Bedard (5-3) is 1-3 in his last six starts. He allowed seven hits, and three of the four batters he walked came around to score.

"It was just erratic. Sometimes I had it, sometimes I didn't," Bedard said. "I wasn't too consistent."

Moyer allowed an RBI double by Hernandez in the first, but got out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out Jeff Conine on a changeup that Moyer called his best of the night.

"I seem to be able to have a knack to test myself in the first inning. It's a quick wake-up call. I got myself into the jam and I was able to get myself out," Moyer said.

Javy Lopez dribbled an RBI single through the infield in the fifth, but Moyer otherwise kept the Orioles in check.

Sean Green relieved Moyer but struggled, giving up Tejada's 13th homer of the season in the seventh and three runs in the eighth.

Brandon Fahey hit a two-out RBI single and Mora followed with a two-run single to pull the Orioles to 8-6. Julio Mateo took over for Green and got Tejada to ground out to end the threat.

Game notes
Baltimore right-hander Hayden Penn underwent surgery for appendicitis in Seattle and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Penn had been scheduled to make his season debut and start Tuesday
night's game. Baltimore recalled LHP Adam Loewen from Double-A
Bowie, but Perlozzo was unsure who would start Tuesday's game. ...
Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single
in the third. ... Mateo made his first appearance since April 28
against Baltimore. He had been on the DL with right shoulder