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Saturday, June 3, 2006 - Page updated at 02:31 AM

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Moyer shuts down Royals

The Associated Press

SEATTLE – Jamie Moyer pitched a two-hitter, Jose Lopez and Raul Ibanez hit home runs on Bobby Keppel's first two pitches of the seventh inning and the Seattle Mariners beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 Friday night.

J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless ninth to end Seattle's first two-hitter since Sept. 15, 2004, when Ryan Franklin stymied Anaheim. It was just the Mariners' second win in seven games. Kansas City fell to 3-4 on its season-high, 10-game road trip.

Moyer had his first complete game since a 3-1 loss at Baltimore on May 25, 2005, and his first two-hitter since Aug. 16, 1986, at Montreal, when he was a rookie with the Chicago Cubs.

Lopez, Seattle's new No. 3 hitter, added a two-run double that scored Ichiro Suzuki and Adrian Beltre in the eighth inning to push his team-leading RBI total to 45 — tops among second basemen in the majors.

The 43-year-old Moyer, 20 years older than Keppel, struck out two, walked one and hit a batter. Double plays erased three of those base runners. The only time Kansas City got a runner as far as second base, in the fifth, Moyer retired Doug Mientkiewicz and Angel Berroa on ground balls to end the inning.

A fan seated behind the Mariners dugout yelled "Sit down, Hargrove!" when manager Mike Hargrove came out to talk to Moyer after 83 pitches with one out in the eighth, after Moyer had allowed a single to Mientkiewicz. On the next pitch after Hargrove's visit, Moyer got Berroa to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Keppel, making his first major-league start, was breezing into the seventh inning having allowed only Ibanez's second-inning double and Ichiro Suzuki's single in the sixth. But Lopez quickly turned on an inside pitch and sent it four rows into the left field bleachers to break a scoreless tie.

Lopez had gone 4-for-21 (.190) on Seattle's miserable, 1-5 road trip that ended on Wednesday. He punctuated his first home run from the prime, run-producing third spot with a smack of the hands as he rounded first base.

The sting of that slap had barely subsided when Ibanez sliced Keppel's next pitch, a low fastball, through the railing atop the right-field wall for Seattle's first back-to-back home runs this season.

Keppel left after allowing two more hits in the innings. He allowed six hits in all, walked one and struck out four in his 6 2-3 innings.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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