SEATTLE – Scott Kazmir allowed only three singles — two of them infield hits — and struck out nine over seven innings as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0 today on a run-scoring balk by Jamie Moyer.
Kazmir (5-2) has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his eight starts this season, winning games started by Roy Halladay, Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield. His first five outs were strikeouts, and 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.
Ruddy Lugo pitched a perfect eighth, and Tyler Walker survived the ninth to get his fourth save. Raul Ibanez doubled to center leading off, a liner that went over Joey Gathright, who had taken three steps in.
Walker struck out Richie Sexson and Carl Everett, who banged the top of his batting helmet with his bat barrel, and 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 out to first for the final out.
Moyer (1-3) gave up four hits in eight innings, striking out five, but was done in by his 11th career balk, his first since Aug. 19, 2000, at Cleveland.
Toby Hall and Travis Lee started the inning with singles, but Kazmir retired Perez on a foulout and Gathright on a groundout that advanced the runners.
With the count 1-1 to Damon Hollins, Moyer asked catcher Rene Rivera to go through his signs again. Just as he was about to start his delivery, Moyer stepped awkwardly off the pitching rubber with his back foot and looked to first base. Second base umpire Brian Knight called the balk, and Moyer did not argue.
On a day when each team got just four hits, Tampa Bay won for the third time in nine games and avoided a three-game sweep.