SEATTLE -- Neither the Seattle Mariners nor a migraine headache could prevent Mat Latos from posting yet another fantastic start in May.
The San Diego Padres right-hander allowed a run and four hits over six effective innings and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1 on Sunday.Latos (4-3) walked two and struck out five in his fifth consecutive start of at least six innings pitched. It was also his fifth straight start allowing two runs or less.Latos was able to shut down the Mariners' anemic offense despite having a migraine headache that started about a half hour before his first pitch."I usually don't have [migraines]," Latos said. "This is the first time I've had one in a while -- as long as I can remember."He said he took a pain reliever before the game, but it was something that never went away while he was on the mound. The sun came out midway through the game and the extra light made the headache symptoms even stronger.Latos didn't let the headache affect his command on the mound as he kept the Mariners off-balance with an array of fastballs, changeups and sliders."I wasn't going to let that be an excuse for maybe me pitching poorly or anything," Latos said. "I just went out there and stayed in the game plan as we always have. Just trying to get strike one and work the count and get groundball outs and try to put up zeros on the board."Latos never allowed the Mariners to get their bats going early on. Only once did the Mariners get a runner into scoring position before Latos left the game after walking Ken Griffey Jr. to lead off the seventh inning."I don't think he had his overall best stuff but I saw a smooth delivery," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I saw a nice finish to his pitches. Good changeup today. Some good sliders, elevated some fastballs in certain counts but overall a well pitched game.""I told him after the game, it was a good lesson learned that every time you take a big league mound you might not feel 100 percent. I'm proud of him," Black said.The Padres rallied against the Mariners bullpen in the eighth inning, getting to relievers Jesus Colome and Kanekoa Texeira for five runs and five hits to break the game open.Colome gave up two singles and a walk without recording an out before being removed. Texeira then yielded back-to-back doubles to Chris Denorfia and Nick Hundley to drive in four runs. Will Venable drove in the fifth run with a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Padres a 8-1 lead."We came up in the eighth and the guys were really able to put it together and put the game out of reach," David Eckstein said. "That's something we haven't done a lot."Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (2-4) allowed three runs, two earned, and seven hits. He struck out six."I thought Felix did a nice job," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "Seven innings, three runs. Compared to his last couple outing his command was much better."Wakamatsu added: "Offensively we just can't put anything together."In the first, Eckstein doubled down the left field line and Adrian Gonzalez drove him in with a soft flare to right field to take the early lead.The Padres scored a run in the top of the fifth inning with the ball never leaving the infield. Hundley reached on an infield single and was sacrificed over to second base. A passed ball by Mariners catcher Rob Johnson allowed Hundley to take third. Tony Gwynn Jr. then hit a soft grounder to first allowing Hundley to score.Everth Cabrera singled in the seventh and stole second base to get into scoring position. Venable picked up the RBI with a broken bat flare to left field to give San Diego the 3-0 lead.Seattle finally scored in the bottom half. Griffey drew a leadoff walk that chased Latos from the game. Matt Tuiasosopo then doubled off the right field wall moving Griffey to third. Johnson drove in Griffey with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Mike Sweeney started at first base for the Mariners for the first time this season and the first time in nearly a year. His last start was May 25, 2009, against Oakland. ... LHP Erik Bedard felt some discomfort in his surgically repaired left shoulder after playing catch each of the last two days. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said Bedard was going to be looked at by the team doctors after Sunday's session and reevaluated. ... C Rob Johnson has allowed six passed balls in only 21 games he's caught this season. Miguel Olivo led the majors in passed balls in 2009 with 10 passed balls for the season. ... Cabrera stole two bases. He now has seven on the season.