SEATTLE (Ticker) --
returned to Safeco Field as a blond. He may leave with a few more gray hairs.
Piniella had his return to Seattle spoiled by
, who hit a solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Mariners rallied for a 4-3 victory over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Piniella spent 10 years as manager of the Mariners, compiling an 840-711 record while guiding the franchise to four playoff berths. But after last season, he opted out of the final year of his contract and signed a four-year, $13 million deal to return to his hometown and try to turn around one of baseball's worst franchises.
Prior to the game, Piniella was honored in a brief ceremony and cheered loudly by the crowd of 45,156. Known for his temper, Piniella was awarded an honorary base by the Mariners' organization.
"It was well worth it coming here," Piniella said. "It really was. I would have liked to have won the ballgame, but it's a night I'll remember forever. Hopefully, that's all said and done and we can play baseball for the next two days."
"I didn't expect it to be this (the ceremonies for Lou),"
said. "I had no idea it was going to be that big. It was pretty cool to see how loved he was here."
Piniella, who recently dyed his hair blond to fulfill a promise after his club reeled off three straight wins, watched the
build a 3-0 lead. But
hit a three-run homer in the bottom of third inning to tie it before Cameron put the Mariners ahead for good in the eighth with his blast off
"There was no special thrill. We just needed to get a win," Cameron said.
"Before the game there was a lot of hoopla, and rightfully so, a great man coming back here to a place he built," said Mariners manager
, who replaced Piniella. "But once the game starter, it's another story."
It was the 19th one-run loss this season for the
, who own baseball's second-worst record at 31-59.
Cameron's 13th homer made winner of All-Star
(12-5), who gave up three runs and eight hits in eight innings. The 40-year-old lefthander walked one and struck out five.
Moyer commented on Piniella's return.
"It's not like anything new, except he was on the other side of the field," he said. "That's about the extent of it. I have the utmost respect for Lou and the opportunities he's allowed me, but tonight he's on the other side of the field."