SEATTLE (AP) -- Even as they look up from the bottom of the NL West, the San Diego Padres continue to show little glimpses of the team everyone expected to contend.
Another one of those moments came Friday night, when the Padres opened interleague play with a solid 6-4 win over the Seattle Mariners, behind a 14-hit outburst from their offense, six quality innings from starter Chris Young and three shutout innings from the bullpen.It looked very familiar to last year, when the Padres went 43-36 in games decided by two runs or less. Those wins have been missing this year, where San Diego is just 7-12."We feel as a staff, and the players feel like we should have more nights like tonight than the nights we had in Chicago," San Diego manager Bud Black said of the Padres previous series where they lost three of four. "We have to play better."The catalyst on Friday was Brian Giles, who had his third four-hit game of the season, and Tadahito Iguchi, who added three hits and his second homer of the season. San Diego rebounded from being shut out for the fourth time this season on Thursday against the Cubs, by jumping on Seattle starter Miguel Batista for three runs in the first and another in the second on Iguchi's homer.Giles' four-hit night included a pair of doubles and two RBIs, and came on the heels of a 3-for-4 day against the Cubs on Thursday. Iguchi added a pair of singles sandwiched around his second home run of the season as the Padres got three of their five extra-base hits from the duo."With the way the first part of the season started for us, we're due to go through one of these little streaks where you go 10 or 14 days where everything kind of snowballs in a positive direction," Giles said. "Hopefully, that is the case."Young (4-3) won for the third time in his last four starts, overcoming his own early struggles and pitching through the sixth. Staked to a 4-0 lead, Young gave up three runs in the second, two scoring on Kenji Johjima's two-run homer that just cleared the hand-operated scoreboard in left field on a 1-2 slider that Young left up in the zone. But Young escaped the second when Adrian Beltre struck out with the bases loaded.After that Seattle managed just one hit off Young, a double by Raul Ibanez leading off the third. Young gave up five hits and struck out five. Relievers Cla Meredith and Heath Bell kept Seattle scoreless through the seventh and eighth. Trevor Hoffman worked the ninth for his eighth save in 10 opportunities, giving up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Jose Vidro, then striking out the side."The guys gave me a big cushion early and I tried my best to give it back and fortunately wasn't able to do so. They gave much such a big margin for error tonight," Young said. "It was nice pitching where I had room to make mistakes."Batista (3-5) managed to last into the sixth, surviving a brutal first inning where he allowed a triple, single and double to the first three batters, and the disgruntled boos of the home fans. After the rocky first, Batista settled down, giving up just two runs, but lost for the third time in his last four decisions.Batista, who has given up 11 runs on 12 hits with nine walks combined in the first inning of his five starts at home this season, struck out just one and walked three."It's tough to think about going to your bullpen in the second inning," Seattle manager John McLaren said.Batista left with runners on first and third and one out in the sixth. Ryan Rowland-Smith entered to face Giles, who ripped a liner that Seattle first baseman Richie Sexson made a diving stop on. But Sexson had no play and the infield single scored Scott Hariston from third to give San Diego a 6-4 lead.Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a single leading off the seventh.
Black was selected by Colorado's Clint Hurdle to be one of the coaches for the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in July. "Yankee Stadium as we all know is a great place. This is the last go around, so to be a part of that in a place I always enjoyed going as a player and coach, it's going to be a great three days." ... Suzuki stole second base in the fourth inning, giving him 289 in his career, one shy of the Mariners' record held by Julio Cruz.