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Moyer derailed in third bid for 250th win

Moyer derailed in third bid for 250th win

PHILADELPHIA -- Jamie Moyer said he does not recall a stretch like this in his 23-year career, but he has no doubts he can end it.

"I've got to believe if I start to doubt, then it's time for me to go home," he said.

Moyer's 2009 season continues to be a struggle. He allowed eight hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday in a 9-2 loss to the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.

Moyer is 3-3 with an 8.15 ERA after seven starts. He is 0-2 with a 13.86 ERA (19 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings) in his last three starts, which is his worst three-start stretch since he went 0-1 with a 15.30 ERA (17 earned runs in 10 innings) from May 6-18, 2005, when he pitched for the Mariners.

"I don't really feel frustrated," said Moyer, who was battling a cold. "I'm not making the pitches that I'd like to be making. I think early in my career I pitched frustrated. It didn't work. So I try to put win or lose behind me and move forward.

"Every mistake I've made has gotten hit hard. It's more or less how I'm feeling. Good pitches have gotten hit, but I feel like the mistakes that I'm making I'm being punished for. I've got to be mistake-free."

Moyer has allowed seven runs in each of his previous two starts. He allowed seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings Thursday against the Mets at Citi Field. It was one of the worst starts of his career, and afterward, Moyer said he planned to look at film from one of the best starts of his career -- a shutout against the Cardinals in June 2002 -- to rediscover his winning ways.

He looked like a different pitcher through his first three innings. He allowed just one hit -- a Rafael Furcal single in the first -- and no runs, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced.

But the fourth inning got ugly.

Moyer gave up back-to-back doubles to Furcal and Orlando Hudson to tie the game at 1. The Dodgers had runners on the corners with one out when James Loney hit a three-run homer to right field to make it 4-1.

The ball was not hit hard, but it floated into the first row of seats.

It counted just the same.

"What are you going to do?" Moyer said. "It's the same story I gave you last week."

Moyer allowed one more run in the fourth and two more runs in the fifth.

The Phillies scored their only runs in the second and ninth innings when Jimmy Rollins hit a solo homer to left field in the second and Raul Ibanez hit a solo shot into the visitors' bullpen in right-center field in the ninth.

Moyer has had rough stretches like this in his past with the Phils. He went 1-2 with a 9.60 ERA (16 earned runs in 15 innings) from Aug. 12-24, 2007. He also went 0-3 with a 10.06 ERA (19 earned runs in 17 innings) from July 2-16, 2007.

But asked how he thinks he can work out of his rut, he said, "I don't have an answer for you. Hard work."

"I've done this over 500 times," Moyer added. "So you know what? I really don't worry about what's behind me."

Moyer, 46, has made 591 starts in his career. He would like to have at least 25 more starts before the end of the season.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel backed Moyer.

"It's not difficult at all [to be patient]," Manuel said. "Our pitching is what it is. We signed those pitchers to pitch. Will I stay with them? Of course I'll stay with them. That's who we have. That's not hard or difficult at all. We've got five starting pitchers. And if we choose to make adjustments on our staff and we want to put [J.A.] Happ or somebody else in there, that'll be a decision that we make down the road. But at the same time, right now? What the hell? I can't be any more confident in our guys."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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