SAN DIEGO (AP) Until Thursday, Jesse Hahn hadn’t pitched seven innings since his junior year of college in 2010, after which he had reconstructive elbow surgery.
The rookie right-hander pitched seven strong innings and pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia singled in the go-ahead run in a four-run seventh for the San Diego Padres, who rallied for the second straight game to beat the Seattle Mariners 4-1 on Thursday night.
”I’m building up my innings and my pitch count and I’ve actually felt stronger and stronger as I went out there, so hopefully next start I’ll be able to go eight, and maybe a complete game,” Hahn said.
The light-hitting Padres salvaged a split of the four-game season series by winning consecutive games for the first time since May 30-31. Robinson Cano had three singles for the Mariners, who beat the Padres in Seattle on Monday and Tuesday.
Hahn (2-1) was making his third big league start. He held Seattle to an unearned run and five hits, struck out seven and walked two. In his last two starts, Hahn has allowed no earned runs and just six hits while striking out 14 in 13 innings.
”He did a lot of nice things on the mound,” manager Bud Black said. ”He showed again composure for a guy who’s only made three major league starts, so there was a lot of good today from Jesse.”
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 20 opportunities, getting a double-play ball after allowing a double and single with one out.
Seattle’s Erasmo Ramirez, winless since April 1, left with a 1-0 lead after six innings. But Dominic Leone (2-1) allowed four runs, three hits and a walk while getting only one out in the seventh.
Yasmani Grandal grounded out leading off the Padres’ seventh before they tied it on consecutive triples by Tommy Medica and Cameron Maybin. On Wednesday night, Medica’s RBI pinch-hit single in the eighth gave the Padres a 2-1 win.
Carlos Quentin walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Jace Peterson before Denorfia, pinch-hitting for Hahn, singled to center to bring in Maybin with the go-ahead run. Joe Beimel came on and retired Will Venable before allowing Everth Cabrera’s two-run single to right.
”Hitting’s contagious,” Medica said. ”A few guys start doing it, I mean, it starts clicking. We did it that inning and hopefully we can get it rolling a little more.”
Ramirez held San Diego to two hits while striking out three and walking two.
”I’m back to being myself, like I used to be,” he said. ”I’ve been throwing balls, balls and now this has been the opposite, throw more strikes. Every outing I feel like I’m getting better. I’m just going to continue to pound the strike zone. That is my goal.”
Said Black: ”Ramirez had us. Whether we were behind the fastball and ahead of the change, he and (catcher John) Buck had us going back and forth. He had us in vice grips for those six innings. They made a pitching change and we got some things going.”
Cano drove in Seattle’s only run with his second single off Hahn, in the fifth. Cano extended his road hitting streak to 20 games. Brad Miller drew a leadoff walk and was safe at second on Endy Chavez’s one-out grounder after Cabrera, the shortstop, dropped the ball for an error. Miller scored on Cano’s single to right-center.
”I’m not going to take anything away from that young man,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. ”I thought he threw a pretty good game. He kept us off-balance with his slow curveball. He kept his fastball down for the most part. We had some chances but we just didn’t have good at-bats in scoring opportunities today and that has been our challenge all year.”
NOTES: The Padres placed 1B Yonder Alonso on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Tuesday, with tendinitis in his right wrist. … To take his place on the roster, OF Jake Goebbert was selected from Triple-A El Paso. Goebbert is still waiting to make his big league debut. He was in the on-deck circle in the seventh but was pulled back for Denorfia. He was acquired from Oakland on May 15 in the deal that sent Kyle Blanks to Oakland. … Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko had his left foot put back into a cast and walking boot. He had removed them recently as he battles plantar fasciitis. ”It’s not a good sign,” Black said. ”But hopefully it helps.”… The Padres open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night, when RHP Dan Haren (7-4, 3.54 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Ian Kennedy (5-8, 3.72). … The Mariners head to Kansas City where they open a three-game series Friday, with RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-3, 2.59) scheduled to oppose RHP James Shields (8-3, 3.50).