PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Ian Kennedy struck out seven in an encouraging outing and Will Venable drove in two runs with a pair of doubles to help the San Diego Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 7-2 Friday night.
Kennedy held the Mariners to two runs and three hits over 5 2-3 innings.
”His fastball command was good, especially on the inside part of the plate to the left-handed hitters,” Padres manager Bud Black said. ”As the game went on, he mixed in some nice curveballs, and some changeups resulted in some outs.”
Yonder Alonso singled twice, drove in a run and scored for the Padres.
San Diego scored three runs in the third off starter James Paxton, with Ryan Jackson accounting for two RBIs on a two-out single. Jackson also doubled in Alexi Amarista in the sixth.
The Mariners are scheduled for two split-squad games Saturday, so most of the starters were lifted by the end of the fifth inning. Among those was new second baseman Robinson Cano, who headed for the clubhouse after the third.
Cano drove in the first Seattle run with a double in the first inning. He is 18 for 32 (.563) this spring and has hit safely in 11 of 12 games.
Padres: Kennedy is in line for one more start next week before the season begins. He walked two on Friday, placing an emphasis on treating the game like a regular-season outing.
”Fastball command was really good,” Kennedy said. ”I tried to treat it like a game, read bats, read swings. It’s getting close to that crunch time.”
Mariners: Paxton allowed three runs and four hits in four innings, walking two and striking out four. He remains in strong contention for a rotation spot.
”It wasn’t my best outing out there,” Paxton said, acknowledging he was working on his off-speed pitches. ”You’re going to have games like that sometimes and you have to be able to limit the damage and still keep your team in the game and give them a chance to win.”
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon isn’t ready to announce his opening day shortstop, but Brad Miller is making a stronger case than Nick Franklin. Miller went 2 for 3 with an RBI and scored a run to raise his spring training average to .463.
The only out Padres setup man Joaquin Benoit got was a strikeout to end the sixth. Benoit issued his first walk of spring training, but 12 of the 19 outs he’s recorded have been strikeouts. San Diego closer Huston Street struck out two in a hitless seventh. Neither pitcher has allowed an earned run this spring.
Black asked for a replay review of a pickoff attempt at first base in the fourth, but umpires upheld their original call of safe for Mariners pinch-runner Leury Bonilla.
It was a quick review, with the game held up for less than two minutes. McClendon came out to argue a close play at first that ended the eighth inning with runners on second and third, and it took the umpires about 90 seconds to uphold the out call.
”We didn’t have anything to lose, it was 7-2 with two outs,” McClendon said.
Padres: Outfielder Chris Denorfia is day to day with a sore right shoulder. He has missed back-to-back games. … Catcher Yasmani Grandal caught six innings as he continues to ramp up his work with the regular season approaching. Grandal will catch again Sunday and next Tuesday. He had knee surgery almost nine months ago.
Mariners: Taijuan Walker and Stephen Pryor are scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Saturday. Hisashi Iwakuma threw a tennis ball in the weight room as he continues his recovery from a middle finger injury. None of the three have appeared in a spring training game yet.
”It’s going to take a little while,” McClendon said of Iwakuma. ”It’s not going to happen overnight.”
Padres: Tyson Ross is scheduled for his fifth start of the spring, against the Chicago White Sox in Peoria.
Mariners: Seattle plays two afternoon games, at Oakland in Phoenix and at Colorado in Scottsdale. Scott Baker starts against the A’s, and Roenis Elias faces the Rockies. Both are still in the running to make the rotation.