If Greg Vaughn indeed is going, going, gone from the San Diego Padres, he will have left on a high note.
The struggling slugger, on the verge of being traded to the New York Yankees, had a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the sixth inning to lift the San Diego Padres to a 10-8 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.
The home run capped a bizarre day for Vaughn, who has struggled since being acquired from Milwaukee last July 31.
“I walk in here and someone tells me I might be going to New York. Wow,” Vaughn said. “My family just got here a couple days ago, so it threw me for a loop. But once again, it’s part of the game. I’ve just got to make an adjustment and roll with the punches.”
Vaughn’s homer was the fourth of the night for the Padres, who blew a 7-0 first-inning lead. Vaughn, who has struggled since coming over from Milwaukee last July 31, likely will be traded today to the Yankees for pitcher Kenny Rogers and infielder Mariano Duncan.
The game featured seven homers, giving the teams 12 in the two-game series. The game, followed by fireworks, drew 46,483.
“They can postpone the fireworks,” Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. “There were enough during the game, that’s for sure. I must have been handing our pitchers hot potatoes. I handed the ball to a new guy three times and the first guy hit it out of the park every time.”
The Padres opened a 7-0 lead with one out in the first inning on Finley’s grand slam and a three-run homer by Flaherty. Mariners rookie Derek Lowe lasted just one-third of an inning, allowing six runs on two hits.
Lowe walked the bases full prior to Finley’s grand slam, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Of his 33 pitches, 22 were balls. The Padres sent 11 batters to the plate in the first. Bob Wells relieved Lowe and allowed Flaherty’s homer.
But the Mariners pulled to 7-4 in the third. Joey Cora hit a two-run homer, Russ Davis an RBI double and Mike Blowers an RBI infield single. They tied it in the fourth on Edgar Martinez’s two-run homer followed by Jay Buhner’s shot, both off Pete Smith.
Finley’s solo shot off Greg McCarthy gave San Diego an 8-7 lead with one out in the fifth, but the Mariners tied it on Ducey’s two-out single off Batchelor in the sixth.
Ex-Mariner Sterling Hitchcock was reinstated from the disabled list. The Padres wanted to hold Hitchcock to no more than 75 pitches, and he came out after throwing 68 in 2 innings.
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