Padres-Mariners Preview


It's been nearly nine months since the San Diego Padres won two in a row on the road.

Another game at Safeco Field could help change that.

San Diego looks to achieve consecutive road wins, as well as win two straight overall for the first time in more than three weeks Wednesday night when the Mariners try to end their three-game skid.

Entering this series with a major league-worst 6-21 road record, the Padres (21-41) escaped with a 5-4 victory Tuesday after relievers Joe Thatcher and Huston Street gave up three ninth-inning runs.

San Diego, which had dropped 15 of 19 overall, now has a chance to win two in a row outside San Diego for the first time since a three-game sweep at Colorado from Sept. 19-21.

Seattle would seem like the right place to get that done, as the Padres have won four of six at Safeco Field.

The Mariners (27-36) have played a major league-low 26 home games, but have dropped three in a row and eight of 10 in their ballpark.

Seattle also has injury concerns after reliever Stephen Pryor appeared to hurt his groin during the ninth inning Tuesday.

"We've got a series of moves that we're going to be making (Wednesday)," manager Eric Wedge said.

Jason Marquis (0-1, 3.00 ERA) will make his second start in a Padres uniform as the team goes for its first set of back-to-back wins since May 19 and 20 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Signed to a minor league contract May 29 after being released by Minnesota three days earlier, the veteran right-hander struck out six and yielded four runs - two earned - in six innings of Thursday's 8-3 loss to San Francisco.

"I think it went pretty well,'' Marquis said.

That wasn't the case in his last start in Seattle, a 7-0 Twins loss May 5 when he walked a career high-tying six in six innings. Marquis has lost five consecutive starts overall beginning with that outing at Safeco, posting an 8.74 ERA during that skid.

Seattle will counter with Hector Noesi (2-6, 5.99) as it tries to avoid dropping four in a row for the first time since a five-game slide May 24-28.

The Mariners are hoping an extended break between starts will produce better results after Noesi - pitching on three days' rest with ace Felix Hernandez nursing a sore back - walked a career-high five and gave up six runs in four innings of last Wednesday's 8-6 road loss to the Angels.

Noesi has yet to face the Padres or make an interleague start, but he recorded a 10.80 ERA in five relief appearances against the NL in 2011, while with the New York Yankees.

The right-hander needs to do a better job of keeping the ball in the park - he's surrendered six homers in his last three starts - but he'll face a San Diego team that has hit a major league-low 34 home runs.

The Padres, though, have picked up their scoring of late with five runs in each of their last four contests. Prior to Tuesday's series opener, San Diego had totaled six runs while dropping six of seven to Seattle.

Padres third baseman Chase Headley will try to extend his team-best hitting streak to 10 games. He's batting .378 (14 for 37) during his nine-game run.

Mariners center fielder Michael Saunders has produced all six of his three-hit games this season since May 29, including a 3-for-4 effort with a solo homer Tuesday. He is batting .451 with three home runs, seven doubles and seven RBIs over his last 12 games.