The Seattle Mariners have not fared well outside Safeco Field.
Neither has Joe Saunders .
The veteran left-hander will try to help the Mariners end a six-game road skid - and extend his lengthy scoreless streak against the San Diego Padres - Wednesday night when this four-game set continues.
After splitting the first two games of this two-city series, Seattle (22-30) has two games at San Diego and three at Minnesota.
The Mariners dropped two of three last season at the Padres (23-28), but they've won 15 of 20 as the road team in this series. Seattle, though, is mired in its longest slide away from home since an eight-game skid April 28-May 12, 2012.
Saunders (3-5, 6.09 ERA) is 0-4 with an 11.25 ERA in five road starts. He's obviously been far better at home, but even pitching at Safeco didn't help in Friday's 9-5 loss to Texas. Saunders struck out a season-high seven but surrendered six runs in five innings as his career mark in Seattle fell to 9-1."He struggled tonight. He still battled and got us through five innings, but he threw a lot of pitches (95)," manager Eric Wedge said. "He made some mistakes and they got to him."
The Padres haven't been able to, though, with Saunders bringing in a 22 2-3-inning shutout stretch against them. He's 3-0 with a 0.28 ERA in his last four outings against San Diego after going seven innings in a 2-1 Arizona win at Petco Park on April 11, 2012.
San Diego, winner of seven of 10 in this series following Tuesday's 6-1 victory, opens its five-game homestand with Eric Stults (4-4, 4.22) getting his first look at the Mariners.
The veteran left-hander, 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his last two home starts, allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings of Friday's 5-2 loss to Arizona."I felt like I got away with some pitches through the sixth inning," said Stults, who allowed all four runs in the seventh. "Actually, it felt like in the seventh inning I made the pitches I wanted to, (but) just didn't have the results."
Stults will likely be throwing to Yasmani Grandal , who went 1 for 4 with a run Tuesday in his season debut. He just finished a 50-game suspension for a positive test showing elevated testosterone levels.
Mariners rookie second baseman Nick Franklin , called up prior to Monday's 9-0 victory, might be back in the lineup after going 0 for 4 with a strikeout and an error in his first major league start Tuesday.
San Diego second baseman Jedd Gyorko had a much better game, setting a team rookie record for homers in one month with his sixth.
Kendrys Morales , batting .472 (17 for 36) with a homer and nine RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak, has never faced Stults.
Chase Headley has more hits off Saunders than any other Padre, going 7 for 19 with two doubles.
|May 16, 2013||Aaron Harang||Day-to-Day||Lower back stiffness|
|April 23, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 22, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Torn right hamstring|
|April 15, 2013||Stephen Pryor||60-Day DL||Torn right lat muscle|
|April 12, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Fractured finger|
|April 11, 2013||Michael Saunders||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|San Diego Padres|
|May 05, 2013||Clayton Richard||15-Day DL||Intestinal virus|
|May 05, 2013||Clayton Richard||15-Day DL||Intestinal virus|
|May 03, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|April 21, 2013||Kyle Blanks||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder injury|
|April 20, 2013||Clayton Richard||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|April 18, 2013||Tyson Ross||15-Day DL||Left shoulder subluxation|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Eric Stults had nothing to show for his best start of the season, though it was just what his team needed.
The San Diego Padres starting pitcher couldn't have been happier after Will Venable drove home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Venable's third game-ending hit scored Chris Denorfia from third to complete an improbable comeback after Padres batters struggled mightily through the first eight innings.
It also allowed Stults to smile after a career-high, 12-strikeout performance where he allowed one run and three hits over eight dominant innings.
"The numbers were great, but the win was the important thing," Stults said. "The end result is all that matters and I'm proud of how we rallied late and were able to finish this game on top."
Kyle Blanks forced extra innings in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out sacrifice fly off Mariners closer Tom Wilhemsen, who blew his second save in 13 tries by allowing just his second earned run in 23 innings.
The dramatic finish followed a home run from Jason Bay off Padres closer Huston Street that gave Seattle a 2-1 lead in the ninth. Street has given up seven home runs in 20 1-3 innings this season.
Stults, by contrast, was on point.
"Eric pitched brilliantly," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Stults has pitched some very good games for us, but I don't know how you throw any better. All four pitches were effective and were thrown with excellent command. That was impressive."
The left-hander struck out hitters in bunches, including two stretches of four straight. Stults' previous strikeout best was nine, set on Aug. 17, 2007, while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Colorado Rockies .
"I'm not really a strikeout guy," Stults said. "I normally pitch to contact, but I felt like I could attack their aggressiveness and use all my pitches to get them out. I was able to throw off-speed pitches low in the zone, and I believed I could make them swing and miss with that game plan."
The Mariners were frustrated all night by a pitcher who doesn't throw fastballs above 90 mph and has a curveball 20 mph slower. They've lost seven straight on the road, and have struggled to score runs during a brutal 2-10 stretch.
"We have got to get the offense going," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "That's what sticks with you during runs like this. We're not scoring enough runs and we're inconsistent. The guys have to step up."
Seattle wasted a solid effort by starter Joe Saunders .
Saunders continued his dominance over the Padres with one run and four hits allowed in seven strong innings, but his bullpen let him down. Saunders has allowed just one run in his last 29 2-3 innings against the Padres.
Chase Headley opened the scoring with a 403-foot solo home run to left field in the first inning.
Saunders kept the Padres off balance with a mix of pitches and a well-placed fastball, and pitched 6 1-3 shutout innings after Headley's blast.
"When you see a guy like Stults putting up zeros, you tell yourself you have to do the same," Saunders said. "Whatever it takes, you have to keep your team in the game."
Saunders did so, but the Padres wore on the Mariners' bullpen in the eighth and ninth before breaking through in the 10th inning.
The Padres got to Seattle reliever Yoervis Medina (1-1) to win it in the 10th. Denorfia legged out an infield hit and advanced to third on Everth Cabrera 's seeing-eye bloop single near second base. Headley was intentionally walked before Venable's game-winner.
"I was really comfortable up there," Venable said. "I got a decent pitch to hit and was able to find a spot where they couldn't make a play. It's nice to win one like that. It shows great resolve all around."
Luke Gregerson (3-2) pitched a scoreless 10th to earn the win.
NOTES: Padres C Yasmani Grandal didn't shed much light on his use of performance-enhancing drugs on Wednesday in his first press conference with home media since testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone in November. He did say that he took an illegal substance in order to stay healthy, not to sustain an edge over the competition. He didn't divulge further details about PED use, citing an open MLB investigation surrounding the issue. . Mariners OF Michael Morse remained in Seattle when the team left for Wednesday's game at San Diego due to a quadriceps strain suffered on Tuesday. He was examined on Wednesday, and Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he believed Morse's would gone 3-5 days and that he could catch up with the team during a weekend series at Minnesota. . 1B Justin Smoak , out since Saturday with a strained oblique muscle, took batting practice and pinch hit in the eighth inning. . Padres INF Logan Forsythe , on the 60-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis, moved his minor-league rehab assignment from extended spring training to Triple-A Tucson. . Seattle 2B got his first major-league hit in the fifth inning.