SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager and Dae-Ho Lee combined to drive in five runs with home runs and Nathan Karns won his fifth straight decision as the Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak by topping the Padres, 9-3, in a Monday afternoon Memorial Day game at Safeco Field.
In his second start since returning from a strained hamstring, Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner held Seattle scoreless until a four-run sixth, capped by Seager's two-run blast, his ninth of the year. Cashner gave up six hits and three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings as he fell to 2-5 with a 4.79 ERA.
"I thought he threw the ball really well all day. I thought the sixth inning was probably poor pitch selection to go with the change-up to Seager right there," Padres manager Andy Green said. "Other than that, I thought he threw the ball really, really well."
Lee, a 33-year-old rookie from Korea, broke things open with a three-run blast in the eighth to highlight a five-run outburst against Padres reliever Brandon Maurer. Adam Lind had a two-run, bases-loaded single in the same frame as Maurer recorded just one out against his former team.
Karns (5-1, 3.43 ERA) continued his strong season as Seattle's fifth starter, allowing eight hits and two runs over 6 2/3 innings The win puts the Mariners at 29-21, the fourth-best record after 50 games in franchise history and best since 2003, when they opened 32-18.
"The ball was in Nate Karns' hands today and he really stepped up and gave us something we needed, a quality start against a very good pitcher," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Cashner was throwing the ball really well and we didn't have much going early there, but Nate kept us close enough and threw what I thought was probably one of his best games of the year."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Got you cornered: The Padres scored their second run on doubles into both outfield corners for a 2-0 lead in the sixth. Matt Kemp opened the inning with a ground-rule double into the right-field corner. Kemp scored from third on Brett Wallace's opposite-field double down the left-field line. Left fielder Seth Smith got a glove on it after a long run into the corner, but couldn't hold on.
Opening the floodgates: With just two hits off Cashner in the first five, the Mariners didn't have many chances to pressure the Padres early. But they got some help from Derek Norris in the sixth when San Diego's backstop was charged with catcher's interference on a foul ball by Norichika Aoki when his glove hit Aoki's bat. That innocent one-out baserunner was quickly followed by Seattle's first four runs of the game as Smith ripped an RBI double, Nelson Cruz singled in Smith and Seager capped things off with his two-run homer to right-center on a shot projected at 393 feet by Statcast™.
Although the one-out catcher's interference call allowed the first baserunner of the big inning, Cashner downplayed its importance.
"I don't think it was such a huge impact, I just can't make a mistake with a changeup down the middle," he said. "I didn't think it was a bad inning ... it was one bad pitch." More >
Bullpen steps up again: The Mariners relievers have been a pleasant surprise all season and they turned in another strong outing. Steve Johnson, who was called up from Triple-A earlier this month, appears to have worked his way into higher-leverage situations as Servais called on him to replace Karns with two out and a runner on second in the seventh.
Johnson struck out Wil Myers -- his 15th strikeout in 11 1/3 innings with a 0.79 ERA -- before Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect eighth and Joel Peralta finished things off after the offense provided a welcome cushion.
"I think he's earned it," Servais said of Johnson's increased role. "He's been very, very good going after both righties and lefties. I thought it was a good matchup for him there, so why not? He's earned the right and I'm trying to give Nick Vincent a couple days down after the extended (49-pitch) outing the other night. And really, it's a team down there. That bullpen, they have to pick each other up and they know they can get thrown into any role."
Designated hitting 101: With the Padres playing their first Interleague game of the season, catcher Christian Bethancourt was used as the designated hitter. He slapped an RBI single in the first inning in the first at-bat by a San Diego DH this season. He added another single in the fourth. He also stole his first base of the season and third of his career. More >
"We don't like those three-game losing streaks at home. Our team believes in themselves and why shouldn't they? We've got a good team, good chemistry on our club. We handle adversity pretty well. We look it right in the face and say, 'Here we go.'" -- Servais, on the Mariners' ability to bounce back this year
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mariners are now 25-12 (.676) on Memorial Day, the best winning percentage of any active franchise in Major League Baseball. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With runners on first and second and none out in the fifth, Lee was safe at first on a fielder's choice when the attempted double-play relay from shortstop Alexei Ramirez pulled Myers off the bag at first base. The Padres challenged, but the on-field call was confirmed after a two-minute, 16-second review.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres:James Shields (2-6, 3.06 ERA), who is 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA in 10 career starts against the Mariners, gets the start on Tuesday at Safeco Field at 12:40 p.m. PT. The right-hander, rumored to be the subject of trade talks, is just 2-6 in his last eight starts despite a 2.61 ERA over that span. He is the only Major League pitcher to throw at least 200 innings in each of the last nine seasons.
Mariners:Hisashi Iwakuma (3-4, 4.33 ERA) will be gunning for his third straight win as Seattle closes out its homestand with Tuesday's 12:40 p.m. PT game against the Padres. Iwakuma's only previous appearance against San Diego was in relief in 2012 when he allowed a single to the only batter he faced.