SEATTLE -- The Mariners hit five home runs, two of them by Seth Smith, and won both games of the short two-game series against the Padres with a 16-4 victory at a sun-splashed Safeco Field on Tuesday afternoon.
"I can't say enough," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Our offense showed up today, right from the get-go. A lot of good at-bats. Obviously the home runs were big. It's great to see."
Seattle piled on Padres starter James Shields from the get-go, scoring a run in the first inning on Kyle Seager's RBI single and then sending nine men to the plate in a six-run second that effectively put the game away. The big blow in that inning was a two-out, three-run homer by Seager, but all six of the runs in the inning were scored with two outs, and that trend continued in the third.
Again, Shields got two outs, and again the Mariners rallied anyway, with Smith hitting a three-run homer to make it 10-0. More long balls followed, with Franklin Gutierrez hitting a two-run shot in the fourth and Smith (solo) and Adam Lind (three-run blast) going deep in a four-run fifth.
"Just getting behind in the count, walking guys," Shields said. "All my damage was two outs. If I bear down and get those outs, it's a whole different ballgame. They might not score any runs, really to be honest with you. Just kind of one of those days. That's a good-hitting team over there. I didn't do my job today and we've got to move forward."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mariners break out in second: Patience paid off for Seattle in the second inning, when the Mariners made Shields pay for his mistakes on the mound in a big, game-deciding way -- and all with two outs. Luis Sardinas batted with the Mariners up, 1-0, and started the timely second-inning rally with a single and moved to third on Norichika Aoki's single. Shields walked Smith to load the bases then walked Robinson Cano to make it 2-0. Cruz's first-pitch single made it 4-0, and the next batter, Seager, lofted a ball into the right-field bleachers to complete a six-run frame that put the game out of reach for San Diego.
"It's just guys not giving away at-bats and understanding how important every out is," Smith said. "You can do a lot of damage and score a lot of runs with two outs."
Mr. Smith goes downtown (twice): Smith came into the game with four homers for the season and hit half as many in the span of three innings. He finished with four RBIs, matching Seager. Every starting Mariners player scored at least one run on Tuesday afternoon, and every starter except for Cano, who walked in his first three plate appearances, recorded at least one hit.
Position player dealing: The game took on a somewhat humorous tone in the eighth inning when Padres catcher Christian Bethancourt took the mound. Not only did he flash a 96-mph fastball with movement, but while facing Smith he also dropped in a knuckleball for a strike that registered in the mid-50s on the radar gun. He then hit Smith in the foot with another mid-50s eephus-type pitch.
"Up to 96. No idea how high it would be, we knew it would be hard," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We also knew there was absolutely no mechanics behind it. Just 96 in the arm and not even trying. Pretty impressive, actually.
"I got him out of there because at some point in time you just don't want to tax the arm too much. It might have been my best pitching change all year." More >
Walks costly for Shields: Easy to overlook in the 10-run, eight-hit onslaught, were the four walks issued by Shields. With two outs in the first, Shields walked Cano and Cruz, and Seager followed with an RBI single. In the six-run second, Shields followed a pair of two-out singles with back-to-back to walks to force in the first run of the inning.
"I feel like I threw a lot of quality pitches today, whether they were strikes or not, that's not up to me," Shields said. "But I didn't do a very good job of getting ahead of hitters." More >
"I saw him at second. He said, 'Sorry.' I said, 'As long as it's not your fastball, we're all right.'" -- Smith, on getting hit by Bethancourt's knuckler
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Smith scored from second on Cruz's bases-loaded single with two outs in the second inning, reaching back with his left hand to touch home just ahead of the one-hop throw from left-fielder Melvin Upton Jr. San Diego challenged, but the on-field call was ruled to stand after a review estimated at two minutes 51 seconds.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: Left-hander Christian Friedrich (1-1, 1.65 ERA) will try to turn things around for San Diego after a pair of lopsided losses against the Mariners in Seattle. Friedrich, who will be making his fourth start, pitched seven scoreless innings in his last outing, allowing just three hits.
Mariners: Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (4-4, 2.86 ERA) will try to bounce back from a rough outing at home against the Twins in his last start. Hernandez allowed a five-hit, five-run third inning but retired nine of 10 batters in the fourth through sixth. Hernandez is 6-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 12 career starts vs. the Padres, including a 5-0 record and 1.51 ERA in seven starts at Petco Park.