The start of interleague play appears to have revved up Seattle’s sputtering offense.
The Mariners look to build on their highest scoring game in three years when they continue a weekend home set with the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
One night after rallying for three runs in the ninth inning against Toronto to snap a five-game losing streak, Seattle (16-26) broke out for a 15-8 win over San Diego in its interleague opener Friday.
Mike Sweeney(notes) homered twice and drove in six runs while Milton Bradley(notes) added three hits to help the Mariners score their most runs since a 15-11 win over the New York Yankees on May 4, 2007. It also matched their highest interleague total, set in a 15-4 victory over San Francisco on July 1, 1997.
“This is a good sign that we do have some life and we do have the ability to score some runs and win some games,” said Sweeney, who has five homers in his last seven games.
The strong performance could serve as a confidence builder for a Seattle club that ranks near the bottom of the majors with 151 runs and a .237 team batting average.
“When you put up a crooked number like that, that’s the kind of thing you can build on,” said Bradley, who’s 5 for 12 in three games since coming off the restricted list.
A lifetime .317 hitter in interleague play, Sweeney is 12 for 22 with four homers and 16 RBIs in seven games against the Padres (24-18).
San Diego, meanwhile, suffered its sixth loss in eight games overall and fell to 8-26 in interleague play since the start of the 2008 season.
Richard allowed one run and three hits in seven innings of a 3-1 win over San Francisco on Monday, improving to 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his last four starts.
The left-hander, who is 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in four interleague starts, allowed five hits in six innings of a 5-0 victory in his only previous appearance against Seattle on Aug. 19, 2008, while with the Chicago White Sox.
Snell (0-2, 4.76), who made three appearances out of the bullpen after Cliff Lee(notes) came off the disabled list, returns to the rotation in place of struggling left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith(notes).
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA in four starts this season, but hasn’t made once since allowing two runs in 5 1-3 innings at Kansas City on April 27.
“I am just going to keep the same mindset and do what they ask me to do,” Snell told the Mariners’ official website.
The former Pittsburgh Pirates starter is 1-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts versus San Diego.