Ichiro, Ishii meet in first regular-season major-league game

SEATTLE (AP) -- After a rare slump, Ichiro Suzuki has pushed his
batting average back over .300. And that's what he likes to see.

Suzuki hit a three-run homer and Jamie Moyer pitched into the
eighth inning, leading the Seattle Mariners over the New York Mets
5-0 Friday night.

Suzuki, a two-time batting champion who set the single-season
record for hits last year, had been slumping for the past month.
His average finally dipped below .300 on June 11 for the first time
since May 12 of last season. But he has had consecutive multihit
games for the first time since May 11-13 and is now batting .301.

"When you look at the scoreboard at the first number and it's a
3 instead of a 2," Suzuki said through a translator, "it makes
you feel better as a hitter."

Facing Japanese countryman Kazuhisa Ishii for the first time in
a regular-season major league game, Suzuki connected in the second
inning. He added a run-scoring single in the sixth, giving him a
season-high four RBI, and finished with three hits.

"That was a big three-run home run early in the game to give us
some breathing room. His last two or three games Ichiro has swung
the bat better. And Jamie was just outstanding," Mariners manager
Mike Hargrove said.

The 42-year-old Moyer (6-2) allowed six hits in 7 2/3 innings
for his 198th career win. He is 5-1 lifetime against the Mets. His
only loss against them came 17 years ago, on Aug. 2, 1988, with the
Chicago Cubs.

Suzuki and Ishii did not face each other often in Japan because
they played in different leagues. Suzuki had one career hit in five
at-bats against Ishii, with a walk and a hit by pitch. In an
exhibition game three years ago, Suzuki was 2-for-2 with a walk
when Ishii pitched for the Dodgers.

"Since I did not face him too much I didn't have a lot of
information on him," Suzuki said. "I just made the adjustments as
the game went on."

Moyer went through a tough time in early May when he failed to
pitch past the fourth inning in three straight games. He had a 1-2
record and a 7.88 ERA in May.

"If I would compare it," Moyer said, "I would say I was not
getting ahead in the count quite as often as I am now."

He has allowed just one run in his last 13 2/3 innings.

"When he's changing speeds like that and moves his ball in and
out," Mets manager Willie Randolph said, "he makes a lot of teams
look bad."

Jeff Nelson struck out pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson with the
bases loaded to end the eighth. After taking a called third strike,
Anderson was ejected by plate umpire Dan Iassogna.

Nelson finished the six-hitter for his first save, Seattle's
fourth shutout of the season. Struggling mightily to score runs,
the last-place Mets (33-34) lost for the seventh time in nine games
and were blanked for the sixth time this year. They also made two
key errors.

Jose Lopez, just called up from the minors, had two hits,
including an RBI double in the fifth.

Ishii (1-6) got in trouble in the second when he hit Mike Morse
with an 0-2 pitch. Pat Borders sent Morse to third with a two-out
double and Suzuki homered into the right-field corner, one row into
the seats. It was his second home run in three games and fifth this

Moyer earned just his second win since April 24. He had trouble
in the first inning, giving up successive hits to Jose Reyes and
David Wright. But Carlos Beltran flied out, Reyes was thrown out at
third on a double-steal attempt and Mike Piazza grounded out.

Game notes
Mariners 3B Adrian Beltre sat out with a left hamstring
injury. Last season with the Dodgers, Beltre hit .435 with two home
runs and five RBI against the Mets. He could play Sunday. Lopez
started at 3B. ... The Mets fell to 11-19 on the road. They have
lost five of six away from home. ... Brian Daubach was hit in the
right knee by Nelson's pitch in the ninth but should be available
to play Saturday.