Mariners 8, Padres 2
SEATTLE (AP)—It only took a few great fastballs for Joel Pineiro to know he’d have an exceptional night.
“I had my best stuff, except the curveball wasn’t there,” Pineiro said. “But the fastball was there, so I went with it all day.”
Pineiro (8-5) improved to 4-1 over his last six starts with one of his best efforts of the season. He threw a shutout May 30 at Minnesota, striking out a career-high 12.
“Joel was fantastic tonight,” said Mariners manager Bob Melvin, who pulled Pineiro with runners at first and second and two outs in the eighth. “I just gave him a little pat and said, ‘Way to go.’ He was still hitting 96 on the gun.”
Pineiro allowed a fifth-inning single to Sean Burroughs followed by Rondell White’s two-run homer, and consecutive singles by White and Xavier Nady in the eighth. Pineiro walked one and struck out five.
The sellout crowd of 45,529 stood and cheered as Melvin walked out to take the ball from Pineiro, and the pitcher tipped his cap as he returned to the dugout.
Pineiro has pitched into the eighth inning in his last four starts and six of his last seven.
“He pitched great. We just didn’t have much going there,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said.
For the first time in 16 starts, Pineiro didn’t allow a baserunner in the first. He characterized his first-inning troubles earlier in the season as an interesting but harmless trend.
“There’s nothing to work on,” Pineiro said. “Sometimes you come out too aggressive. You might hit the corners but they still hit them. I don’t know. Just go out and throw strikes. That’s all you’ve got to do.”
Guillen drove a solo shot over the center-field wall off reliever Scott Linebrink leading off the eighth, putting the Mariners up 8-2.
Seattle went ahead 3-0 in the fourth, using only one hit. Edgar Martinez led off with a single past shortstop Donaldo Mendez, and the bases were loaded with no outs after Adam Eaton walked John Olerud and Mike Cameron.
Randy Winn grounded to first, and Ryan Klesko started a potential double play with a throw to Mendez. But the ball got away from Mendez and rolled into center field, and Martinez and Olerud scored on the play while Cameron reached third.
Mendez was charged with an error, and Jeff Cirillo drove in Cameron with a groundout.
“We made a costly error with the bases loaded or it’s a different game,” Bochy said.
Eaton (2-7), a Seattle native, was making his first career start at Safeco Field and he looked inspired, holding the Mariners hitless through three innings.
But Eaton’s two fourth-inning walks proved to be too much to overcome, and he left in the fifth trailing 5-2 after giving up two more runs and four hits. The Mariners worked him for 60 pitches in the fourth and fifth innings.
“I saw some people I haven’t seen in a long time, which was nice,” Eaton said. “But I definitely wish I would have had a better outcome.”
Pineiro, meanwhile, was going strong and faced the minimum through four innings. He didn’t allow a hit until Burroughs lined a single up the middle in the fifth, and White followed with his 13th home run, a shot to right, to make it 3-2.
“Rondell hit a good pitch, a slider down and away,” Pineiro said. “But wegot a couple of runs to settle me down.”
RF Ichiro Suzuki made a sliding catch to retire White in foul territory behind first base in the second. CF Cameron ran down a deep fly by Miguel Ojeda in the fifth, making an over-the-shoulder basket catch. … White improved his lifetime mark to 5-for-12 against Pineiro. … Seattle INF Mark McLemore, who got his 1,500th career hit Wednesday at Anaheim, received a commemorativeframed photograph in a pregame ceremony.