Gutierrez's Homer Tops Padres, Wins It For Seattle, 4-3 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gutierrez's Homer Tops Padres, Wins It For Seattle, 4-3

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SEATTLE (AP) - Franklin Gutierrez led off the eighth inning with a home run off reliever Edward Mujica, and the Seattle Mariners won their 19th one-run game of the season, 4-3 over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

Ahead in the count 2-0, Gutierrez lined Mujica's fastball over the left-field wall, barely clearing the yellow stripe in front of the Mariners' bullpen for his seventh homer. It was his fourth home run in five games this season against the Padres and the first homer allowed by Mujica (2-3) since June 6, to Arizona's Justin Upton.

Russell Branyan hit his 18th homer of the season in the second inning for Seattle, a three-run shot that erased the Padres' early 2-0 lead. Seattle has won six of its last eight overall and improved to 19-13 in one-run games this season.

Sean White (2-0) picked up the victory working the eighth, getting Scott Hairston to pop out to end the inning with Tony Gwynn Jr. at second base. David Aardsma pitched the ninth - including striking out slugger Adrian Gonzalez - for his 15th save in 16 chances.

Kevin Kouzmanoff gave the Padres a 2-0 lead with his 10th homer in the second inning. After fouling off three straight 3-2 pitches, Kouzmanoff lined starter Brandon Morrow's ninth offering over the out-of-town scoreboard in deep left field.

Branyan homered for the second consecutive night. While his two-run homer on Tuesday barely cleared the wall, there was no doubt about this 418-foot shot to center off starter Josh Geer.

After loading the bases in the first and getting a key putout at the plate when Hairston threw out Yuniesky Betancourt trying to score in the second, Geer settled down.

After Betancourt's double in the third - that missed being a homer by about a foot - Geer retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced, allowing a walk to Betancourt in the sixth.

Morrow continued his transition from reliever to starter. On a pitch limit of 95, Morrow finished five innings having thrown 87, walking one and striking out four. But he missed out on a chance at his first win of the season when the Padres pieced together a run in the fifth.

Hitting just .115 entering the game, Will Venable had a one-out single, followed by Eliezer Alfonso's single. After Morrow struck out Everth Cabrera, Gwynn singled to left to score Venable.

Notes:@ Betancourt left the game in the eighth with an apparent right leg injury running out a groundball. ... Seattle C Kenji Johjima, currently recovering from a broken toe at Triple-A, could rejoin the team as early as Thursday and be activated when the Mariners start their road trip Friday in Los Angeles. ... Seattle 2B Jose Lopez is expected to come off the bereavement list on Thursday. Lopez traveled to Venezuela last week to be with his ailing sister who passed away.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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