The San Diego Padres have used strong starting pitching to
stifle the Seattle Mariners this year, beginning with a strong
outing by Clayton Richard.
The Padres will send Richard to the mound Sunday when they try
for their first three-game home sweep of the Mariners, who will
counter with Felix Hernandez.
San Diego (37-25) and Seattle (23-39) have played every year
since interleague play began in 1997, and the Padres have won four
straight for the first time. The Mariners won 15-8 at home on May
21 before managing a total of six runs in the next four
Padres starters have gone at least six innings in all of the
wins, with Wade LeBlanc allowing one run in six innings Saturday to
outpitch Cliff Lee in a 7-1 victory that clinched the season series
for San Diego for the first time since 2004.
Next in line for San Diego is Richard (4-3, 2.72 ERA), who is
2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners,
including a 2-1 road win May 22 in which he yielded one run over
“Richard pitched a great ball game,” Seattle manager Don
The left-hander is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts since
going 4-0 with a 1.97 ERA in his previous five. He allowed one run
over seven innings Tuesday in a 2-1, 11-inning loss to the New York
The Mariners have had problems containing Adrian Gonzalez, who
is 9 for 20 with five RBIs against them this year. Gonzalez had two
hits Saturday, including his 14th homer, and is batting .412 (21
for 51) with five homers, 15 RBIs and 11 runs scored in his last 13
Gonzalez has the most experience of any Padres hitter against
Hernandez (3-5, 3.77), going 7 for 24 with one homer. Hernandez
fell to 2-2 with a 3.69 ERA in six career starts against San Diego
after giving up three runs over seven innings in an 8-1 loss May
The right-hander is still searching for his first road win after
going 0-2 with a 3.59 ERA in his first seven outings. Hernandez
allowed seven runs over six-plus innings in a 7-1 loss at Texas on
Mariners superstar Ichiro Suzuki is 9 for 23 against the Padres
this season to extend his interleague hitting streak to 16 games.
Suzuki had three hits Saturday to snap out of a 2-for-20 slump.
Seattle’s latest losing streak is at five games, with its
offense producing 10 runs. The Mariners matched a season high by
stranding 12 runners Saturday.
“That’s two nights in a row that we’ve had a pretty good
starting pitching performance and our offense has squandered it,”
The Padres expect manager Bud Black to return to the dugout
Sunday after missing the first two games of the series because of
his daughter’s graduation. Bench coach Ted Simmons filled in for