SAN DIEGO (AP) — It was like American Legion ball back in Indiana for San Diego Padres pitcher Clayton Richard.
After surviving three tough innings, Richard not only settled down on the mound but drove in three runs to help the San Diego Padres rally for a 9-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
Richard (5-7) trailed 4-0 in the third inning after allowing two home runs before he got into a groove — on the mound and at the plate.
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The left-hander, a native of Indiana and a former quarterback at the University of Michigan, considers himself a good athlete and it showed with a key two-run double in the Padres’ five-run fourth inning that put them ahead to stay at 7-4.
“He played a complete baseball game,” San Diego manager Bud Black said.
Richard, who came in with just one hit in 25 at-bats, added an RBI single in the fifth.
“The first at-bat, I got a pitch I could handle and got a good swing,” Richard said. “I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team.”
Perhaps as big of a moment for Richard and the Padres came in the third inning when the Mariners took a 4-0 lead on Justin Smoak’s sacrifice fly. Richard issued consecutive walks to load the bases with two outs before he got Dustin Ackley on a groundout.
“That was outstanding, that was huge,” said Black, who added Richard probably would have been lifted had he not retired Ackley.
“That was a big moment in the game,” Richard said. “To be able to keep the game within striking distance was huge.”
After the first three innings, Richard allowed one unearned run as he pitched into the seventh.
Chase Headley drove in three runs, two on sacrifice flies, for San Diego.
Franklin Gutierrez and Miguel Olivo homered for Seattle, which has allowed 39 runs on the first four games of its road trip.
“Our starters have been struggling on the road and it makes it tough,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Richard gave up five runs — three earned — and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. Richard struck out six and walked three as he won his third straight start, all in interleague play.
Huston Street got the final out with two runners on for his ninth save in as many chances.
The Padres fell behind 4-0 before they rallied for two in the third and then sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth inning.
Kevin Millwood (3-6) hit Yonder Alonso to lead off the inning. After Logan Forsythe’s infield single, Everth Cabrera doubled in one run. With one out, Richard lined a two-run double down the right-field line.
Will Venable followed with a run-scoring single. After third baseman Kyle Seager committed his second error of the game on Cameron Maybin’s grounder, Venable and Maybin pulled off a double steal. Headley hit a sacrifice fly for the final run.
“(Richard) did what he needed to,” Millwood said. “The ball was up. If I got them to hit the ball on the ground, it found a hole. They did everything they needed to win the ballgame.”
Millwood allowed eight runs — five earned — and eight hits over five innings. The right-hander is 0-2 in his last five starts, including Seattle’s 1-0 combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers June 8 when he received a no-decision.
“The balls were up, breaking balls weren’t good,” Millwood said. “I just didn’t pitch good, bottom line.”
Gutierrez had four hits and Ichiro Suzuki finished with three for Seattle, which is 1-3 on the trip despite hitting seven home runs and scoring 28 runs.
NOTES: Richard has won his last five starts against the AL and is 4-1 against Seattle. … The Mariners lost for just the seventh time in 22 games at Petco Park. . San Diego RHP Anthony Bass, who left in the fifth inning on Wednesday with shoulder inflammation, is still sore. The Padres are not sure if Bass will make his next start. The Padres already have five starters among seven pitchers on the DL. . Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (4-5, 3.52) will face Padres RHP Jason Marquis (1-2, 1.86) in the middle game of the three-game set on Saturday night.