Mariners 3, Padres 1

What the Seattle Mariners starting pitchers accomplished against

San Diego this season was impressive.

Blake Beavan’s major league debut was a fitting capper.

Beavan threw seven strong innings of one-run ball Sunday, Ichiro

Suzuki had two hits and scored twice and the Mariners beat the

Padres 3-1.

Seattle took five of six against San Diego in interleague play

and the Mariners’ pitching staff was at their best versus the

Padres. In the six games, Seattle’s starters were 5-1 with a 0.50

ERA in 54 innings, with 56 strikeouts and just eight walks. The

Padres hit .162 against Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Doug

Fister, Jason Vargas, Erik Bedard and Beavan.

While he was the newest member of that group on Sunday, Beavan

(1-0) fit right in.

”It was definitely a great feeling being out there on that

mound,” said the 22-year-old Beavan.

Starting in place of Bedard, who went on the 15-day disabled

list earlier this week with a sprained left knee, Beavan looked as

if he belonged in the majors.

Beavan allowed just three hits and struck out four, becoming

just the eighth pitcher in club history to go at least seven

innings in his major league debut, and the first since Jim Converse

in 1993. David Pauley pitched the eighth and All-Star Brandon

League picked up his 22nd save in 25 chances in the ninth.

While he was considered the likely choice since Bedard went on

the disabled list earlier in the week, Beavan didn’t find out until

Saturday afternoon he’d be making the short trip up Interstate 5 to

make his major league debut. He scrambled and was able to get his

wife and parents on flights from Texas to Seattle in time to see

his first start.

”Them being here kind of helped me calm down, too, so it felt

comfortable out there,” Beavan said.

Known for his control in the minors, Beavan showed that ability

to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters in his debut. Beavan

started 21 of the 27 batters he faced with strikes and his strikes

to balls ratio was nearly 3-to-1 – 64 strikes, 26 balls.

He relied mostly on a sharp fastball and his slider, but Beavan

also mixed in a sinker and a new curveball he’s been working on in

the minors. It helped too that Beavan was throwing to Josh Bard,

who caught Beavan at Triple-A Tacoma.

”It was fortunate that I was down there in Triple-A. We had

been talking about this moment and trying to get him prepared for

it and I thought he did a very good job,” Bard said. ”We’ve been

preaching … about execution, execution, execution and slowing his

heart rate down and he did a great job today.”

Beavan was the final piece of the trade that sent Cliff Lee to

Texas last July to make his major league debut. Justin Smoak has

started 74 games this season at first base while Josh Lueke started

the season in Seattle’s bullpen before being sent down to Tacoma

and developing into a Pacific Coast League All-Star.

The Padres lone run off Beavan came in the third when Will

Venable followed Alberto Gonzalez’s single with a double into the

right-center field gap that rolled all the way to the wall and

allowed Gonzalez to score from first base.

Venable had the only other hit off Beavan with a two-out single

in the fifth.

”We didn’t have a whole lot on him but he threw a lot of

fastballs and we didn’t make the adjustment,” San Diego’s Nick

Hundley said.

A day after being shut out and watching San Diego score its only

run when Cameron Maybin walked after a ball made the count full and

no one in the stadium caught on it was only ball three, Seattle

needed just three batters to take the lead on San Diego starter Mat

Latos (5-9).

Suzuki led off with a single, stole second and scored on Adam

Kennedy’s opposite-field single. The Mariners got two more off

Latos in the third when Suzuki and Brendan Ryan started the inning

with consecutive singles and Kennedy walked to load the bases.

Smoak then hit a 3-2 pitch to deep left field that off the bat

looked like it could be Seattle’s first grand slam of the season.

But the ball died and fell into Chris Denorfia’s glove on the

warning track, deep enough to score Suzuki and for Ryan to tag up

and advance to third. Ryan’s aggressiveness was rewarded when

rookie Dustin Ackley followed with a flyball to center that was

deep enough for Ryan to score and give Seattle a 3-1 lead.

NOTES: Home plate umpire Bill Miller was visibly using a pitch

indicator on Sunday, a day after the count on the stadium

scoreboard was wrong when Maybin walked. … Suzuki was left off

the initial American League All-Star roster for the first time in

his career when the team was released on Sunday. Suzuki responded

with hits in his first two at-bats. Suzuki was an All-Star each of

first 10 seasons. … Padres closer Heath Bell was San Diego’s only

All-Star representative. Manager Bud Black held out hope middle

reliever Mike Adams might get selected.

Follow Tim Booth on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tjbooth7