In a large reversal of form from the teams’ previous meeting, emergency starter James Paxton was overwhelmed in the first inning, giving up six runs — five unearned because of his own throwing error — in the Mariners’ 14-6 (box) loss Wednesday night at Petco Park in San Diego. The Mariners (30-22) missed a chance to take back the AL West lead from the Texas Rangers, who lost in Cleveland 5-4.
Called up from AAA Tacoma to replace Felix Hernandez, who went on the disabled list Wednesday with a strained calf, Paxton was instantly in trouble. Given a lead on 2B Robinson Cano’s three-run homer in the first, Paxton in the bottom half gave up a solo homer to Wil Myers, then threw wildly to second base on a force play. Adam Rosales concluded the six-run, five-hit carnage with a two-run homer for a 6-3 lead.
A day after getting 16 hits in Seattle, the Mariners had 14 hits, four from 3B Kyle Seager, who continued his hot streak. 1B Dae-Ho Lee and SS Luis Sardinas each had two. Cano’s home run was his 16th.
The Padres, last in the National League in hitting, had 19 hits, tying a season high. CF Jon Jay had four hits and SS Alexei Ramirez had two two-run home runs. The Padres ended a four-game losing streak and won for the second time in 10 games.
Paxton was kept in after the first to ease the strain on the bullpen, but he couldn’t get out of the fourth inning, despite 103 pitches. He gave up 10 hits and eight runs (three earned), with a walk and seven strikeouts. Paxton’s velocity was up to 98 MPH, but many were over the middle of the plate.
The bullpen didn’t much appreciate the break. Reliever Joel Peralta came in to get four outs but gave up three runs, and Steve Johnson did the same thing, each giving up home runs.
“We absolutely didn’t play a good ball game. It wasn’t Paxton’s night, obviously. The comebacker error was a big play. Not the kind of outing he wanted. He really struggled with a secondary pitch to get them off his fastball. The fastball was running back over the plate.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
“I was too amped up. I was going too fast and I couldn’t get the slow stuff in there. They were just going after the fastball.” — Paxton
On a radio show in San Diego Wednesday, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler called the last-place Padres, who lost to the Mariners 16-4 Tuesday, “miserable failures,” echoing a similar outburst 42 years earlier by then-owner Ray Kroc. “It’s been embarrassing,” Fowler said. “I don’t know how else to put it. Our performance on the road trip, 1-7, was pathetic. I’m a very competitive individual. I think I’ve won a lot more than lost in my life. This baseball experience has been very frustrating, very embarrassing.”
CF Leonys Martin took batting practice with the team in Petco as he rehabs a strained hamstring that put him on the disabled list. He is likely to go on a stint in the minors before returning as early as June 10 . . . SS Ketel Marte had his second rehab game Wednesday with Triple-A Tacoma and went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in six innings at shortstop. He is likely ready to return Monday at Safeco when when the Mariners host Cleveland . . . The Mariners are the only team in the majors with three players with more than 10 home runs and 30 RBI (Cano 16 HR, 48 RBI; Cruz 10 HR, 35 RBI; Seager 10 HR, 33 RBI) . . . The Mariners finished May 30-21; the last time Seattle reached 30 wins by the end of May was 2003 (36-18).
The second and final game of the series — and fourth in a row between the teams, two in Seattle — is 6:10 p.m. Thursday when Wade Miley (5-2, 4,95 ERA) goes for Seattle against Colin Rea (3-2, 4.47). The Mariners have three in Texas over the weekend.