Seattle Mariners

Mariners notebook: Jamie Moyer becomes a ‘Mariner for life’ in pregame ceremony

Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer, flanked by former Seattle manager Lou Piniella, left, and Moyer’s wife, Karen, waves to the crowd as he is inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame.
Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer, flanked by former Seattle manager Lou Piniella, left, and Moyer’s wife, Karen, waves to the crowd as he is inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame. The Associated Press

In Jamie Moyer’s words, he became “a Seattle Mariner for life” in a ceremony held before the game Saturday that saw him inducted as the ninth member of the organization’s Hall of Fame.

A crowd of 39,132 at Safeco Field greeted Moyer with a sustained standing ovation as he walked onto the field at the conclusion of a 4-minute tribute video.

Moyer, 52, pitched for eight teams in his 25-season career but found his greatest success in an 11-season run with the Mariners from 1996-2006. His 145 victories remain the most in franchise history.

“My career is about three things,” Moyer told the crowd. “Making the most of whatever talent and opportunity you’ve got, ignoring the skeptics and finding the right people in your life.

“I never had Randy’s (Johnson) 100-mile-an-hour fastball. Heck, I barely had an 80-mile-an-hour fastball. So I had to learn other ways to compete. I had to figure out other ways to win.

“It made me a better pitcher. In the end, it made me the person that I am.”

Moyer received accolades from former teammates and opponents in a 45-minute ceremony. He and his wife Karen also received recognition for their work with the Moyer Foundation, which helps children in distress.

The Mariners established their Hall of Fame in 1997 on the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s first season. First baseman Alvin Davis was the first inductee.

Broadcaster Dave Niehaus became the second inductee in 2000, followed by outfielder Jay Buhner (2004), designated hitter Edgar Martinez (2007), Johnson and catcher Dan Wilson (2012), outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. (2013) and manager Lou Piniella (2014).

Davis, Buhner, Martinez, Wilson, Griffey and Piniella attended the ceremony. Marilyn Niehaus represented her late husband. Johnson sent a video tribute; his number was retired Saturday in a ceremony by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

STREAKING CRUZ

Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to 18 games when he punched a single through the right side of the infield in the first inning. He is now one game shy of his career-best 19 achieved in 2010 while playing for Texas.

Cruz’s 18-game run is the longest active streak in the majors.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “It’s not that easy. We’ve faced some really good pitchers along the way. To get it going for that many games is really special.”

Cruz’s streak is the longest by a Mariner since Mike Carp’s 20-game run in 2011. Cruz is batting .425 (34-for-80) during his streak with 11 homers, 15 RBIs and 11 multi-hit games.

A double in the fourth marked Cruz’s eighth consecutive game with an extra-base hit, which was tied for the second-longest such run in franchise history. Ken Griffey Jr. had a 10-game streak in 1993.

FURBUSH UPDATE

The go-slow approach continues with lefty reliever Charlie Furbush in his recovery from biceps tendinitis.

Furbush reported no problems after a 40-pitch bullpen workout prior to Saturday’s game but will undergo at least one more such workout before departing on a minor league rehab assignment.

“He’s got to get to the point where he’s not feeling a pinch in the biceps,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’s almost there, but he’s not quite there. I don’t think you can send him out and say, `You’re almost there. Go pitch.’

“That makes no sense. In my mind, he has to be 100 percent and ready to go.”

That could be as soon as Tuesday.

“I’m still going to do another bullpen or (simulation) game on Monday,” Furbush said. “Then, all things being well, I’ll probably head out from there. I’m still taking it a day at a time.”

Furbush hasn’t pitched since working one inning on July 7 in a victory over Detroit. Initially, he believed he’d be able to return after the minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list.

“I’m not frustrated,” Furbush insisted. “It’s the nature of the beast. It took a little longer than I wanted and than everyone else wanted, but it is what it is. I’ve got to stick to the program.”

Furbush was 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 33 outings at the time of his injury.

MINOR DETAILS

Lefty Nick Wells made his organizational debut Friday by pitching five scoreless relief innings for Short-A Everett in a 3-2 victory over Tri-City (Padres) in 10 innings.

Wells, 19, was one of three left-handed pitchers acquired July 31 from Toronto in a trade for veteran relievers Mark Lowe. The others were Rob Rasmussen and Jake Brentz.

Brentz pitched one inning Friday in his Everett debut and allowed one run and two hits.

LOOKING BACK

It was 27 years ago Sunday — Aug. 9, 1988 — when Alvin Davis hit his 106th career homer and became the Mariners’ all-time leader. It was a two-run shot against Mike Witt in a 4-1 victory over the Angels at Anaheim Stadium.

Davis passed former teammate Ken Phelps, who had been traded less than three weeks earlier to the Yankees in exchange for Jay Buhner. Davis finished his nine-year career with 160 homers, which all came in his eight seasons in Seattle.

Davis ranks fifth in franchise history behind Ken Griffey Jr. (460), Edgar Martinez (309), Buhner (307) and Alex Rodriguez (189).

SHORT HOPS

Lefty James Paxton is expected to throw from a mound Sunday for the first time since leaving the May 28 game against Cleveland because of a strained tendon in his middle finger. Plans call for him to throw 20-25 pitches in a bullpen session. He isn’t expected to return to active duty until September. ... Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez remains slowed by the flu and did not play Saturday. ... The Rangers activated first baseman Mike Napoli prior to the game after optioning outfielder Ryan Rua to Triple-A Round Rock. Texas acquired Napoli on Friday from Boston for a player to be named later or cash considerations. ... Brad Miller went 2-for-4 with a walk and is batting .350 (14-for-40) in his past 12 games. ... The Mariners have lost an American League-leading 20 games in their opponent’s final at-bat. ... The Mariners lead the majors with 17 extra-inning games. They are 8-9.

ON TAP

The Mariners and Rangers conclude their three-game series at 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Safeco Field when right-hander Felix Hernandez (13-6, 3.13 ERA) faces Texas right-hander Colby Lewis (12-4, 4.68).

The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710-AM.

bob.dutton@thenewstribune.com

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