SEATTLE – Matt Stairs cracked a long solo homer off the facade of the second deck, San Diego starter Clayton Richard wiggled free from the few jams he faced, and the Padres held on for a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
A night after the teams combined for 23 runs to open interleague play, both sides struggled to mount much offense.
Stairs came through in the fourth off Seattle starter Ian Snell (0-3) for his first homer of the season. Facing a 2-2 count, Stairs lined a 412-foot shot off a Las Vegas advertisement in deep right field. The Padres added another run in the sixth when Chase Headley scored on a wild pitch.
Richard (4-2) threw seven innings, giving up seven hits and just one run. Mike Adams worked the eighth and Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 12th save as San Diego improved to 8-7 in one-run games.
Mike Sweeney had the one clutch hit for Seattle with a two-out RBI single in the sixth to score Ichiro Suzuki. But the Mariners squandered good scoring chances in the first and third innings before Richard settled into a groove.
Richard struck out six and didn’t walk a batter, setting down nine straight and 14 of 15 during one stretch after Seattle opened the game with three straight singles – yet failed to score.
Richard won his fourth straight decision and pitched at least seven innings for the third consecutive outing.
Seattle scored fewer than three runs for the 18th time this season – all losses.