The San Diego Padres boast the best ERA in the major leagues. Their last game proved that their offense is also capable of being very impressive.
The surging Padres look to build on their most exciting win of the season Friday night when they open a three-game interleague series against the Seattle Mariners at Petco Park.
Faced with a four-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres’ season-high four-game win streak appeared to be finished.
Geoff Blum, though, led off with a single and Termel Sledge reached on an error before Marcus Giles singled to load the bases. Paul McAnulty beat out a chopper to bring in a run, and Adrian Gonzalez followed with a two-run double.
After Josh Bard was intentionally walked to reload the bases, Mike Cameron singled home McAnulty. Jonathan Broxton struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff before Russell Branyan walked on a 3-2 pitch to force home the winning run.
“These type of games happen throughout baseball,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “To do it against the Dodgers is a nice win, but here again, it’s one win. Without a doubt, we’re happy we got it.”
The first-place Padres (36-23), winners of 10 of their last 12, recorded their 13th come-from-behind victory this season and moved one game ahead of Arizona in the NL West.
“To be able to come back against those guys, that’s a great boost of confidence for the team,” McAnulty said. “That let us know we can do anything.”
While San Diego’s 2.91 ERA is by far the best in the majors, its .243 batting average ranks last in the NL and 29th overall. The Padres, however, have scored 30 runs during the five-game streak.
Shortstop Khalil Greene could return to the lineup for the Padres after missing the last three games with a sore right arm.
Justin Germano (4-0, 1.74 ERA) looks to continue his run of excellent pitching for the Padres. The right-hander is unbeaten in five starts since he was called up from Triple-A Portland on May 8. He won his fourth straight start Saturday at Washington, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings.
Opponents are hitting .207 against Germano, who was very good in a 2-1 victory at Seattle on May 20, yielding an unearned run and six hits in six innings.
The Mariners (30-26) couldn’t hold a four-run lead Wednesday, and had their season high-tying four-game win streak snapped with a 9-5 loss to Baltimore.
Seattle won five of seven on its homestand against Texas and the Orioles, averaging 7.1 runs in those games.
Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt has hit safely in a career-high 18 straight games. He is batting .368 (25-for-68) with seven doubles, one homer and 10 RBIs during the streak, raising his average from .269 to .304.
Miguel Batista (6-4, 5.43) looks to match a career high by winning his fourth straight start. The right-hander was solid Saturday in a 5-4 victory over Texas, yielding two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings. Batista last won four consecutive starts June 20-July 6, 2004 with Toronto.
Since allowing a season-high seven runs in a loss to the Yankees on May 12, he has given up only eight earned runs in four starts, spanning 24 1-3 innings.
Batista lost to the Padres on May 18, yielding four runs—one earned—and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He is 3-5 with a 3.45 ERA in 12 career starts against San Diego.
The Padres won two of three games between the teams at Safeco Field May 18-20, but the Mariners have won six of the last nine overall.