Mariners 7, Padres 4
SEATTLE (AP)—Jose Guillen ended his slump at the plate against the one pitcher he’s always had trouble hitting against—until Saturday night.
Guillen, who was in an 0-for-11 slide and came in batting .133 (2-for-15) against Greg Maddux, hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the second against the four-time Cy Young award winner to help the Seattle Mariners beat the San Diego Padres 7-4.
“It was one of those nights when his pitches were not moving at all,” Guillen said.
Guillen’s homer was the first Maddux allowed in the first inning since last July 19, when Houston’s Craig Biggio did it. It was also just the second that Maddux gave up this season, and first in 45 2-3 innings.
Adrian Beltre added a solo homer off Maddux in the third inning.
“He pretty much left it right there in the middle of the plate,” Guillen said. “Everyone knows how tough he is, but his pitches were right there in the middle. It looked like everyone was waiting for someone to start it.”
The top of the order had quite a start. The first five batters each had at least two hits against Maddux (3-3), who was chased after just 3 2-3 innings. It was his shortest outing since May 8, 2006—when he also went 3 2-3 against the Padres while with the Chicago Cubs. He allowed 12 hits and seven runs, the 27th time he has given up at least seven runs in 682 career starts, and saw his ERA rise from 3.20 to 4.14.
“They came ready to hit and were aggressive early,” Maddux said. “I never really got in the groove of the game, never really got a chance to settle down.”
Maddux faced 22 batters, and six of them swung at his first pitch—and five of them reached safely. Eleven of the Mariners’ hitters looked at only three pitches. Seven of the 12 hits he allowed were on the first or second pitch.
“He’s leaving the ball up and that’s when you have to attack him,” said Jose Vidro, who had a pair of singles off Maddux. “Don’t let him settle down and let him bring his pitches down in the zone because that’s when he’s really nasty. He made a lot of mistakes early in the game and we were able to put a bat on the ball.”
Horacio Ramirez (4-2) allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings to improve to 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA in four starts at Safeco Field. He’s 0-2 with a 13.17 ERA in his three starts away from home.
“His middle innings went real well. He got quick outs, he threw strikes,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said of Ramirez. “But in the other innings, he struggled to get the third out and gave up runs doing it. But he pitched well enough to win.”
Ramirez was coming off a 2-1 victory over the Yankees in his last outing. He had allowed five hits and one run in 6 1-3 innings.
“I try to approach the game the same way every time,” Ramirez said. “My attitude was good. I was feeling pretty comfortable and relaxed and just wanted to keep it going. I’m trying to be consistent.”
Padres manager Bud Black said the Mariners “came out and hopped on some early count pitches. Guillen’s four RBIs in the first two innings really put us behind the 8-ball.”
Seattle built its lead to 7-1 by the fourth when Ichiro Suzuki stole third and came home on catcher Rob Bowen’s throwing error. But the Padres rallied back with one run each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, closing it to 7-4. Khalil Greene hit a solo homer in the sixth inning for the Padres, who won the series opener 8-1 on Friday.
The Padres had their best chance in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out and Adrian Gonzalez facing George Sherrill. Gonzalez, who leads the team with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs, hit a liner to second baseman Jose Lopez, who caught it and then flipped it to second for a double play.
“I thought it was up the middle,” Sherrill said. “I felt that was trouble, but it was right at somebody. I guess I’d rather be lucky than good.”
Black added: “It looked like we had a chance to break through, but the line drive right at Lopez was a killer. It that gets through, we got action.”
J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 10th save.”
Colorado’s Matt Holliday hit the only other homer off Maddux coming in, doing it on opening day. … Maddux hasn’t beaten the Mariners in two career starts. Seattle is one of six teams—all AL squads—he has not beaten.