Padres 8, Mariners 6
SEATTLE (AP)—Rondell White has hit two grand slams in a nine-day span. Forgive him for being less excited than everyone around him.
“I can’t explain it,” White said as teammates celebrated in the visitors’ clubhouse. “We’re playing hard. We’re a scrappy team. We don’t give up. We never quit.”
Mark Loretta hit four singles, breaking an 0-for-10 streak, as the Padres won two out of three against the AL West-leading Mariners.
White, whose two-out grand slam lifted the Padres to a 5-3 win over the Mariners on June 20 in San Diego, was mellow despite delivering such a huge hit for an improbable second time.
“You never get too high,” he said with a laugh. “You just go out there and keep working hard. You’ve still got to play the next day.”
Seattle’s 52-28 record is the best in the majors. The Padres, with the NL’s worst record at 28-55, also won a three-game series last week in San Diego.
“Some things you can’t explain in our game,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ve just had some really good at-bats against Seattle. I wish we could do it again every day. You don’t see something like this all the time.”
Added reliever Rod Beck (1-1), who pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win: “You don’t explain it. You just take it and move on.”
In the ninth, Beck struck out pinch-hitter John Mabry and got Ichiro Suzuki on a lineout to third before walking Carlos Guillen and turning it over to Jay Witasick, who struck out Bret Boone for his second save in three opportunities.
“There’s a lot of fight in this team,” Beck said. “I haven’t seen one time, even when we’ve lost by a bunch of runs, when everyone hasn’t been in the dugout at the end of the game.”
After reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa struck out Donaldo Mendez to start the ninth, Seattle manager Bob Melvin went to lefty Arthur Rhodes (1-1). He hadn’t allowed a run in 16 innings but failed to retire the five batters he faced.
“They beat our best guy,” said Melvin, who wanted to limit Hasegawa’s pitch count.
That’s when White burned the Mariners again. He lined a 1-0 pitch from Rhodes, the ball just clearing the fence in left.
“I thought it was a good pitch, down near his shoestrings, and he hit it out,” Rhodes said. “I’m not afraid to throw my fastball to anybody. The game was 6-2 and you have to go out there with your best stuff.
“Hey, he was a lucky man,” Rhodes said.
San Diego scored 26 runs against Seattle in the six games, with White driving in 13 of them—all on homers.
“I’ve seen enough of Rondell White,” Melvin said. “I know games like that are going to happen, but our bullpen has been great all year.”
It was a wasted start for Garcia, who lost three straight in May but has returned to the form that carried him to the last two All-Star games. He has allowed 10 earned runs over the last 44 innings, dropping his ERA in June to 2.05.
“Freddy pitched well,” Melvin said. “I think he was out of gas. He used everything he had to get there. He may not have had his best fastball but he used other things and got us where we had a lead when he came out.”
The roof was closed under threatening skies as the Mariners batted in the fifth. … Suzuki stole three bases, raising his total to 21. He had his 36th multihit game. … The Padres are 5-0 in day games. … San Diego won for the third time this season when trailing after eight innings. They are 3-45 inthat situation. Seattle is 48-3 when leading after eight.