Mariners-Padres Preview

The Seattle Mariners have gotten some strong efforts from their

starting pitchers, but inclement weather has kept Erik Bedard from

contributing.

Weather shouldn’t be much of a factor as Bedard attempts to

record his first official start in 12 days on Friday night against

the San Diego Padres.

Seattle’s starters have a 2.33 ERA over the last 16 games and

have pitched at least seven innings in 11 of those contests,

including the last six.

“It’s been outstanding. That’s the only word I can think of,”

manager Eric Wedge said following Thursday’s 2-1 win over the Los

Angeles Angels. “Consistently getting us deep into ball games. Each

starter focusing on what they need to do and doing their job and

doing the work in between starts so when they go out there they are

giving themselves an opportunity to be at their best.”

The Mariners (19-24) capitalized on those performances to win

three times during a four-game homestand, allowing five runs over

that stretch, but they’ve dropped five straight on the road.

Another stellar effort from Bedard (1-4, 4.78 ERA) could help

snap that skid. The left-hander is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last

three starts, but recorded just two outs Saturday in Cleveland

before the rains came.

Instead of altering their rotation, the Mariners decided to give

the oft-injured pitcher some time off in the early season.

“Obviously with Bedard, we’re going to be a little more careful

with him,” Wedge told the team’s website.

After plenty of rest, Bedard will face a Padres team that’s an

NL-worst 8-15 at home. He’s also 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in three

career starts against San Diego, which avoided a third straight

loss Thursday.

In his return from the disabled list, Orlando Hudson hit a

sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to give his team a 1-0 victory

over Milwaukee.

“It feels good, not just for myself, but for the whole team,”

Hudson said.

San Diego (19-25), though, has scored just four runs in its last

three games after totaling 45 during a 4-1 stretch.

If Mat Latos can duplicate his most recent start, the Padres

might not need much scoring. The right-hander gave up two runs and

four hits over 5 2-3 innings Sunday in Colorado to snap a 10-game

losing streak.

“It takes some weight off of his shoulders,” manager Bud Black

said. “But it is one game that we can build off and gain

confidence. … Hopefully, it will let him exhale a little bit and

he can move forward on those things that he needs to continue to

work on.”

Latos (1-5, 4.38) is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three interleague

games and earned one of those wins in Seattle on May 23, giving up

one run over six innings in an 8-1 victory.

The Padres won four of six over the Mariners in 2010 and have

claimed three of four at Petco Park after losing 10 in a row.