The Padres, in danger of losing six straight for the first time in three years, look to avoid giving up yet another lead against the Mariners when the last-place teams open a three-game interleague series Friday night.
San Diego (32-48), last in the NL West, can’t afford to let leads slip away. A 3-0 advantage in each of its final two games against surging Minnesota wasn’t good enough to help the Padres end their losing streak.
“It’s great to get ahead early,” San Diego manager Bud Black said following a 4-3 loss to the Twins on Thursday. “We need to tack on and we haven’t been able to.”
After missing those opportunities, the Padres are a loss away from their longest skid since dropping eight straight in July 2005. San Diego has lost 10 of its last 12, blowing leads in five of the defeats.
“We are not playing well over the last couple of weeks,” Black said. “We have to right the ship.”
Now, the Padres will try to end a five-game home losing streak against the Mariners (28-50), who have the major league’s worst record.
After winning the opener of a three-game road series against Seattle from May 16-18, San Diego had early leads in the final two contests, but wasn’t able to hold on to 2-1 advantages en route to losing both games.
Randy Wolf (5-6, 4.09 ERA) - who will take the mound for the Padres on Friday - pitched the middle game of that series, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings in a 4-2 San Diego loss. It was his first appearance versus the Mariners.
The left-hander has lost all three of his interleague starts this season, posting a 5.51 ERA.
Wolf, though, has given up two earned runs or less in six of his last seven outings. In his last start, Wolf gave up three runs - two earned - and six hits while striking out a season-high 10 as the Padres lost 5-3 to Detroit on Sunday.
Seattle will counter with Jarrod Washburn (2-7, 5.52), who hasn’t won since May 5. He has a 2.04 ERA in his last three starts, but didn’t receive a decision in any of those games.
The left-hander gave up one run and six hits while striking out a season-high eight in 5 2-3 innings as Seattle lost 5-4 to Atlanta on Saturday night.
Washburn is 9-5 with a 4.17 ERA in 33 starts and three relief appearances in interleague play, and 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance versus San Diego.
Seattle got outstanding pitching in the first two games of a three-game set with the New York Mets, giving up a total of two runs en route to winning both contests. But the Mariners lost the finale 8-2, missing a chance at their first three-game sweep of the season.
Seattle was also held to six hits after scoring a combined 16 runs in the series’ first two games.
Mariners left fielder Raul Ibanez went hitless in four at-bats Wednesday after batting .356 (26-for-73) in his previous 16 contests. Ibanez is hitting .311 with seven home runs, seven doubles and 23 RBIs in 32 games against San Diego.