Cashner working out kinks since return from DL

Right-hander allows four runs (three earned) in loss to Mariners

Cashner working out kinks since return from DL

SEATTLE -- In his second start since coming off the disabled list, Andrew Cashner appeared to have found the form the Padres were hoping for all season.

Cashner cruised through five scoreless inning on Monday, allowing just two hits, before Seattle suddenly broke through for four runs. Still, Cashner might have escaped if it weren't for the one changeup he'd like back in an eventual 9-3 loss to the Mariners.

"I didn't think it was a bad inning, I just think it was one bad pitch," said Cashner.

With the Padres up 2-0, Cashner got the first out in the sixth before Norichika Aoki reached on catcher's interference. Seth Smith followed with an RBI double, but Cashner retired Robinson Cano on a popout to short.

Clean-up hitter Nelson Cruz, who had grounded out twice previously, tied it with an RBI single to left-center.

Kyle Seager then hammered a first-pitch changeup over the wall in right-center and Cashner's strong outing had turned into a 4-2 deficit.

"I thought he threw the ball really well all day," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I thought the sixth inning was probably poor pitch selection to go with the changeup to Seager right there."

Cashner escapes jam in the 5th

Cashner, who fell to 2-5 with a 4.79 ERA, is 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA in his last three starts, but has thrown better his last two times out.

In his previous start -- and first after coming off the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain -- he allowed three runs on four hits in six innings in an 8-2 loss to San Francisco.

"I think I've kind of been just sticking with my game plan," Cashner said. "I've been working on my slider. My slider was good today and fastball command was there."

Cashner allowed a one-out double in the first to Smith, but stranded him at third by getting successive groundouts from Cano and Cruz.

In the fifth, Seager led off with a walk and eventually advanced to third, but Cashner kept the Mariners off the board with an inning-ending double play.

"He did a really good job of keeping us off the base. He's a really good pitcher for a reason," Seager said. "His ball has a lot of movement, he throws hard, he's a good athlete off the mound. There's a lot of things working in his favor, but fortunately we got a break there with the catcher's interference, then Seth and Nellie with the big hits there and we just kind of fed off that."

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Padres on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.