They both agree that it doesn't matter how far the balls sail as long as they leave the park.Beltre and Sexson hit towering home runs on consecutive pitches, leading the Mariners to a 5-3 win on Saturday night that snapped the San Diego Padres' eight-game winning streak."They're both strong individuals. I'm not sure they can hit a ball any harder than they did tonight," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said.Beltre sent a 1-1 pitch airborne leading off the sixth. It was so surely uncatchable that left fielder Ryan Klesko didn't even turn to watch it bounce off the face of the upper deck above left
field -- an estimated 443-foot shot."It felt pretty good. I feel I'm getting better at-bats. I'm making better contact," said Beltre, who hit his fifth homer after leading the majors last season with 48 home runs for the Dodgers.Sexson -- who also hit a two-RBI double -- connected on the next pitch, hitting the ball an estimated 440 feet to straightaway center for a 5-2 lead."You take them if they wall-scrape, too," Sexson said. "It's definitely not how far. It's how many."Padres starter Brian Lawrence (2-5) was victimized both times, continuing his road troubles this season. He has a 2.51 ERA in four home starts, and he lowered his road ERA to 9.00 in five starts, but he's 0-4 away from Petco Park."I didn't do anything different the second through fifth innings that I didn't do in the first," Lawrence said. "The ball just didn't bounce my way."It was the third time Seattle has hit back-to-back homers, with Sexson getting the first shot the other two instances.Seattle's Gil Meche (4-2) worked six innings, allowing two runs and four hits with four strikeouts and four walks. He survived despite throwing 117 pitches, grinding until his curveball started working in the fifth."I fought with it the whole game," Meche said. "I tried little mechanical things, changing my grip here and there. Fifth inning, it finally came around when I threw a couple in warmups. Then I felt comfortable."Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities. It was his first appearance since May 15 as he left the team for two days last week to attend his daughter's birth in California.The Mariners spent $114 million over the winter on Beltre and Sexson, intent on pumping some life into a lineup that ranked last in the American League last season with 136 home runs and 698 runs.Beltre has five homers and 24 RBI. Sexson, who missed most of last season with Arizona because of a shoulder injury, hit his 12th homer and has 34 RBI."The team made a pretty good investment in both of us," Sexson said. "We're both going out and trying our best. It hasn't been going as well as we want it to at this point. I know it was fun tonight and the fans sure enjoyed it."The Padres trimmed the deficit to 5-3 in the seventh against reliever Julio Mateo. Dave Roberts hit a two-out triple and scored when Sexson mishandled Mark Sweeney's grounder for an error.Ron Villone took over. After walking Klesko on five pitches, he caught Brian Giles looking at a third strike to end the threat.Jeff Nelson worked the eighth, needing only 11 pitches to log two strikeouts in retiring the side.Seattle built a 3-0 lead before the Padres got an out. Ichiro Suzuki led off with a double, Randy Winn had an RBI single, Beltre singled and Sexson hit a two-RBI double to the right corner.San Diego pulled to 3-2 in the second. Sean Burroughs and Geoff Blum singled and Roberts followed with a two-out, two-RBI single.
Suzuki leaped at the wall to deny a home run by Klesko in the third. ... The Padres have won eight straight series openers. They're 5-3 in the second game. ... Sexson made a nice diving stop on a hard-hit grounder by San Diego first baseman Phil Nevin in the first. ... Meche faced five full-counts in the first two innings. ... All five homers allowed by Lawrence have come on the road. ... Padres catcher Ramon Hernandez singled in the sixth, giving him a career-high, 10-game hitting streak.