On a day the San Diego Padres paid tribute to legendary hitter Tony Gwynn, they didn’t exactly put on an offensive clinic. But they squeaked out just enough offense for the club’s second victory in 10 games.
Now they seek consecutive wins for the first time this month as they wrap up a home-and-home series with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
The Padres gathered around a large No. 19 in the right-field grass – where Gwynn played the majority of his 20 seasons while recording 3,141 hits – on Wednesday prior to the club’s first home game since he died of cancer Monday at the age of 54.
They followed with just six hits, but Tommy Medica’s pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth inning was enough for a 2-1 win over Seattle.
"You could see how much he meant to baseball, let alone the San Diego Padres organization," Medica said of Gwynn. "You could see it again tonight, and all the great things he’s done for this team and for baseball. I’m sure he was smiling down after that win."
San Diego (30-42) is hitting .159 and averaging 1.8 runs during a 4-12 stretch. Chase Headley, Yonder Alonso and Seth Smith – Nos. 2-4 on the team in RBIs – are batting a combined .205 in that span, and Alonso was placed on the disabled list prior to this game due to a wrist injury.
Jedd Gyorko has a team-high 24 RBIs but hasn’t played since June 3 due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
The Padres, who haven’t won two in a row since May 30-31 against the White Sox, may be able to get by with another low-scoring effort Thursday if Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.72 ERA) can replicate his last start.
Hahn recorded his first career victory in a 5-0 win over the Mets on Saturday, limiting them to Ruben Tejada’s infield single in six innings with seven strikeouts. It was a marked improvement from his debut when he gave up four runs and six hits – including two homers – over 3 2-3 innings in a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on June 3.
He also drove in a run versus New York with his first big-league hit.
"I was very relaxed this time," Hahn told the team’s official website. "This time I went out there, I stayed focused, stayed calm and pitched my game."
The Mariners (37-35), who had won three straight, are hoping their dominant run of pitching can continue. The staff owns a 2.25 ERA in the last 18 games, holding San Diego to two runs in two home wins earlier this week before Felix Hernandez fanned 10 over seven innings Wednesday.
Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 5.27) takes the mound having made some progress recently. He’s thrown 9 2-3 scoreless innings over his last two starts after posting a 6.82 ERA in his first seven.
"Ramirez seems to be turning the corner a little bit," manager Lloyd McClendon told the team’s official website.
However, it’s been a bit of a high-wire act for Ramirez, who walked nine batters over his last two games. He’s winless in eight straight starts, last earning a victory in his season debut April 1.
Ramirez struggled in his only previous start versus San Diego, yielding six runs and eight hits over five innings in a 6-2 loss June 14, 2012.
Seth Smith is 4 for 8 against him with two doubles and a homer.