The San Diego Padres are hoping that playing the American League will bring out the best in their offense.
The Padres try to build on an encouraging night at the plate when they continue their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
San Diego (16-27) won Friday’s series opener 6-4, pounding out 14 hits - just two shy of its season-high. The Padres had managed just 15 hits combined in their previous two games, including Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs - their team’s fourth shutout of the season.
“We feel as a staff, and the players feel like we should have more nights like tonight than the nights we had in Chicago,” said manager Bud Black, whose team lost three of four to the Cubs.
Any sign of life on offense is good news for the Padres, who rank last in the majors with 146 runs. San Diego has been limited to three or fewer runs in 25 of its 43 games this season, while managing at least five in only 11.
Brian Giles led the way on Friday, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Tadahito Iguchi chipped in three hits including a homer. Giles, who was 3-for-4 in Thursday’s loss, has posted three four-hit games this season.
“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.”
If the Padres hope to keep their offense going, they’ll have to do it against Seattle ace Erik Bedard (2-2, 3.48 ERA), who is 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 11 career interleague starts.
However, Bedard is coming off one of the worst starts of his career. The left-hander was pounded for six runs in just two innings Monday, blowing a 5-0 lead and matching the shortest start of his career in Seattle’s 10-inning, 13-12 loss at Texas.
“Just wasn’t a good day,” Bedard said.
Bedard is 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA over his last three starts, all Seattle losses. Dating to last season, Bedard’s team - he was traded from Baltimore in February - had won in 15 of his previous 16 outings.
That 16-start run began on June 21 in Bedard’s only previous start against the Padres. He yielded two runs in six innings of a 6-3 Orioles win at San Diego.
The Mariners (16-27) have dropped three of four and are mired in last place in the AL West. Friday’s loss spoiled their chance at winning consecutive games for the first time since April 20-22.
Ichiro Suzuki, who led the majors with 35 hits and a .486 batting average in interleague play last season, singled in the seventh inning to snap an 0-for-16 drought. He also stole a base in the fourth, leaving him one shy of the Mariners record of 290, held by Julio Cruz.
The Mariners will try to bounce back against San Diego starter Randy Wolf (2-3, 5.16), who surrendered seven hits in four innings of Monday’s 12-3 loss to the Cubs. Wolf’s ERA has ballooned nearly three full runs from 2.49 over his last four starts, as he has gone 0-3 with an 8.55 ERA in that span.
The left-hander has never faced Seattle. He is 8-6 with a 3.70 ERA in 20 career interleague appearances, including 18 starts.