Mariners 4, Padres 1

BY foxsports • May 21, 2011

From pitching to hitting to defense, the Seattle Mariners found a lot to like about Petco Park.

Erik Bedard struck out nine and allowed three singles in eight innings, and Miguel Olivo homered to lead the Mariners to a 4-1 win over the punchless Padres on Friday night.

Left fielder Carlos Peguero made a spectacular catch at the wall to rob Jorge Cantu of a two-run homer in the seventh, then Seattle doubled Ryan Ludwick off first. It was Seattle's third double play of the night.

The Padres avoided their ninth shutout when Peguero couldn't hang on to Ludwick's fly ball as he tried to make a diving catch. Ludwick's single scored Chris Denorfia, but Ludwick was called out for passing Jason Bartlett, who had turned back to first base, thinking Peguero had made the catch.

Bedard (2-4) and Chris Ray combined on a four-hitter as Bedard improved to 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 16 career interleague starts. The lefty dominated the Padres, who had just one runner reach third base. Bedard won his second straight decision, over four starts, after losing his first four starts. He walked two. In four career starts against the Padres, he is 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA and 31 strikeouts.

This was the seventh straight game in which the Mariners' starter went at least seven innings.

''The guys have been doing a great job,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ''They've got a consistent mindset when they go out there and start the game. It's their job to give us a chance to win ballgames, and they're doing it immensely.''

Bedard last pitched Saturday, when he recorded two outs before the game at Cleveland was rained out.

Wedge said he had no problem with Bedard going out for the ninth, but ultimately decided it would be better to turn the game over to the bullpen.

''We're trying to keep him strong,'' Wedge said. ''It was kind of funky coming back after the last start, which was really only 17 pitches, but he still got hot. We're working to keep him in a good place.''

Padres ace Mat Latos (1-6) continued to struggle, losing for the 11th time in 13 starts. He didn't lose his sixth decision last year until Sept. 12. The right-hander allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out four and walked one.

''I think we all had good approaches'' against Bedard, Bartlett said. ''He was just executing his pitches well. He kept us off-balance and hit his spots. Even though we knew what was coming, we still couldn't pull the trigger.''

San Diego has scored just five runs in its last four games, three of them at Petco Park, after scoring 45 runs in its previous five. The Padres are 8-16 at home, worst in the big leagues.

Olivo, who was with the Padres in 2005, homered to left-center with one out in the sixth, his third. In the fourth, he hit a leadoff double into the same area, with the ball bouncing into the stands.

The Mariners took a 2-0 lead with two outs in the second when Peguero tripled in Adam Kennedy, aboard on a leadoff single, and scored on Brendan Ryan's single.

Peguero's seventh-inning catch was huge for the Mariners.

''First time in my life,'' Peguero said. ''Great catch, for Bedard, too, to keep the shutout going and help the team.''

Said Bedard: What a catch. If he doesn't do that, it's 4-2.''

Notes: Trevor Hoffman, baseball's career saves leader who's now working in San Diego's front office, and former Padres reliever Akinori Otsuka signed autographs before the game to raise money for Japan disaster relief. According to the Padres, the tsunami stopped 1 mile from Otsuka's home. ... Padres SS Jason Bartlett committed his fourth error in three games and ninth overall.

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