If the Padres are looking for a slogan for this season, here’s a suggestion …
“2016: The Season of Squandered Opportunities”
San Diego had chances to take control of the first game of their Vedder Cup series against the Mariners in Seattle but failed to capitalize early, then watched the M's offense erupt late and run off with a 9-3 win at Safeco Field.
The Friars got on the board in the second inning of their Interleague series by playing old-school National League baseball. Melvin Upton Jr. singled, stole second and scored on a single by Christian Bethancourt, who was in the lineup as the designated hitter.
In the 6th the Padres had a chance to do some big-time damage. Matt Kemp led off with a double and Yangervis Solarte reached on a throwing error by Seattle starter Nathan Karns. With two runners on and nobody out Upton hit one hard right at 1st baseman Dae-Ho Lee, who started a double play while Kemp went to 3rd.
The Padres got another gift run when Brett Wallace’s fly ball down the left field line was dropped by Seth Smith. It was ruled an RBI double, giving the Padres a 2-0 lead. Bethancourt lined out to right field and what started as an inning with big promise turned in to a bit of a dud.
Right after that, the Mariners took full control of the game. Padres starter Andrew Cashner took a shutout in to the 6th inning but when things start to go wrong Cash has struggled to get them going to other way again. Nori Aoki reached on a catcher’s interference call, the third on the Padres this season already.
Smith followed with a double to centerfield that brought home Aoki from 1st to get the Mariners on the board and cut the lead to 2-1. Cashner got Robinson Cano to fly out but with two outs he could not figure out a way to end an inning. Nelson Cruz smoked a single up the middle to plate Smith with the tying run then left a ball over the plate to Kyle Seager.
That was a bad choice. Seager popped it just over the wall in right-centerfield for a 2-run home run. It looked for a moment like right Kemp had a chance to bring it back in the yard but his leap sent him straight in to the top of the wall and his glove never got high enough to make the catch.
The lead stayed 4-2 until the 8th when Brandon Maurer came out of the bullpen and got lit up. Maurer issued a walk to Cano, gave up a double to Cruz, and intentionally walked Seager to load the bases with one out. Adam Lind singled home two runs to make it 6-2 before Lee went deep for a 3-run dinger to put it completely out of reach.
The Padres play one more in Seattle before coming back to Petco Park for two more against the Mariners on Wednesday and Thursday. James Shields gets the start on Tuesday, as long as he’s not traded before first pitch at 12:40 in the afternoon.