Mariners-Padres Preview

While they have the worst record in the majors, the San Diego

Padres bested the Seattle Mariners last week in a matchup between

last-place teams.

The Padres hope for similar success against the Mariners at

Petco Park, where the two begin a three-game series Friday

night.

San Diego earned its only sweep this season in Seattle last

week. Padres starters went 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA, allowing two runs

in 20 innings.

However, San Diego (24-46) was unable to build on it, losing two

of three at Oakland last weekend and getting swept by Texas at home

after Wednesday’s 4-2 loss.

San Diego couldn’t protect a 2-1 lead after Anthony Bass exited

following the fifth inning with shoulder inflammation. The Padres,

who already have five starters among seven pitchers on the disabled

list, hope the injury isn’t serious.

“Things are going well, I’m feeling good and then it’s like,

‘Shoot, you’re kidding me,'” Bass told the team’s official

website.

The Padres will hand the ball to Clayton Richard (4-7, 3.94 ERA)

as they try to avoid their first six-game home losing streak since

2010 and a fourth straight loss overall.

Richard has won his last two starts, both in interleague play.

He scattered five hits and struck out six in 7 2-3 scoreless

innings in beating Oakland 2-1 on Sunday.

Richard’s previous start was against Seattle on June 12,

limiting the Mariners to one run in seven innings of a 5-4 victory.

The left-hander is 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last four starts

against the AL and 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA against the Mariners.

However, Seattle (30-41) put up big offensive numbers in its

last two games at Arizona heading into this series.

Though the Mariners rank near the bottom of the majors in

batting average, they have scored 10 or more runs in the last two

games. It wasn’t enough in a 14-10 loss Wednesday.

Jason Vargas allowed 10 runs – surrendering five homers – in 4

1-3 innings. Franklin Gutierrez hit a three-run shot in the eighth

inning – his first homer of the season – to make things

interesting.

“That’s baseball; they scored more than us,” manager Eric Wedge

said. “We just had trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark

today.”

Seattle’s starters have posted a 7.31 ERA as the Mariners have

dropped eight of 11, and their last two starters failed to make it

out of the fifth inning.

Kevin Millwood (3-5, 3.69) will try to end that trend. He did

not get a decision Saturday after giving up four runs and nine hits

in five innings of a 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants.

It was Millwood’s first start since suffering a slight groin

strain in a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 8,

throwing the first six innings of a no-hitter finished by five

relievers.

The right-hander has had good success against the Padres, going

8-2 with a 3.27 ERA, including 4-0 with a 3.30 ERA in San

Diego.

Carlos Quentin, who is hitting .367 with six homers in 19 games

since returning from the disabled list, is 4 for 9 with a homer and

two doubles against Millwood.

The Mariners have won four straight in San Diego.