Mariners 4, Padres 3
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Doing the little things right paid off all weekend for the Seattle Mariners.
There was Willie Bloomquist stealing third base on Trevor Hoffman’s high leg kick, Jamie Burke scoring the tying run by reaching past the catcher’s leg to slap home plate and Miguel Batista winning in relief.
The Mariners rallied for the second straight game, scoring an unearned run off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning to beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Sunday and hand the NL West leaders their first sweep of the season.
“No matter the situation or what was going on, there was always a push there, from everybody,” manager Mike Hargrove said.
It was also the first time the Mariners swept the Padres in San Diego.
And it certainly snapped the Padres back to reality after they opened a six-game homestand by sweeping their biggest rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It was a tough weekend,” second baseman Marcus Giles said. “It’s one that we’d like to forget about.”
Hoffman (2-3), who got his 500th career save Wednesday night, started the ninth with the score tied at 3. Willie Bloomquist reached on a throwing error by rookie third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, advanced on pinch-hitter Jose Vidro’s sacrifice and stole third. Ichiro Suzuki was intentionally walked to bring up Jose Lopez, whose grounder to second scored Bloomquist.
Bloomquist had the green light to steal, and Hargrove said Hoffman’s leg kick helped give the runner the advantage.
“That’s pretty much of a slam dunk,” Hargrove said.
Lopez then needed to just put the ball in play.
“He did that on a tough pitch,” Hargrove said. “He hit it just right. Any harder and it would have been a double play and any softer the pitcher might have had it.”
Giles said he thought about going home or to second base for the double play. “But I didn’t think I could make either play and I didn’t want to extend the inning,” he said.
The win went to Batista (7-4), who made his first relief appearance of the season after starting Friday night. He pitched the eighth, allowing Jose Cruz Jr.’s leadoff double to right-center, then retiring the side.
It was Batista’s day to throw in the bullpen in between starts, but he saved his work for the game.
“Miguel’s pitched out of the bullpen before, and we needed it,” Hargrove said. “We had a number of guys down there unavailable. We used Batista to give us an inning breather.”
Batista threw 95 pitches Friday night and got a no-decision in Seattle’s 6-5, 11-inning win. He threw 12 pitches Sunday to get the win.
“A lot of people forgot that I was the best-paid swingman in the game three years ago or something like that,” Batista said. “I made $3.5 million for the Diamondbacks for four years, and that’s what I did for them—start today, relieve tomorrow.
“Some guys physically can’t take the abuse or stress or whatever. But I always said I’d give my work to help this team win in any possible way I can. If I can relieve today, I’m going to.”
Backup catcher Jamie Burke had three hits for the Mariners.
Yuniesky Betancourt went 0-for-4 to end his 20-game hitting streak.
J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 18th save in as many chances and third of the series.
The Mariners’ scored three earned runs off Padres starter Chris Young, one more than the big right-hander had allowed in his five previous home starts combined. Young came in with the best home ERA in the majors, 0.52, and saw it rise to 1.10.
Suzuki chased Young with a two-run single that tied the game at 3 with two outs in the seventh.
Richie Sexson hit a leadoff single and Burke had a one-out base hit. After pinch-hitter Ben Broussard was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Suzuki singled to center to bring in Sexson and Burke. Burke scored in a close play at the plate, sliding around Josh Bard and reaching in to touch the plate with his right hand before the catcher tagged him.
“We had a chance to win all three games,” Young said. “They did more of the little things that we didn’t. But it’s not like we’re playing bad baseball, by any means.”
Mike Cameron and Terrmel Sledge homered off Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in the fourth inning for a 3-0 lead. Cameron connected on a full-count pitch with one out, his sixth. With Khalil Greene aboard on a two-out single, Sledge drove a 1-0 pitch into the left-field seats, his fifth.
Hernandez allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one. Young also allowed three runs and seven hits, with three strikeouts and a walk.
The Mariners play at Cleveland on Monday in the second makeup game from a four-game series in early April that was snowed out. The teams played the first makeup game on May 21. The other makeup dates are Aug. 30 in Cleveland and Sept. 26 in Seattle as part of a doubleheader. … Hoffman’s streak of 16 1-3 scoreless innings, spanning 17 appearances, ended.
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