Volquez pitches Padres past Mariners 6-2 for sweep
San Diego Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso fields a grounder from Seattle Mariners' Jesus Montero in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 14, 2012, in Seattle. Montero was out on the play. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
SEATTLE (AP) — Having scored just four runs in the first two games of the series against San Diego, manager Eric Wedge had a pregame talk with the Mariners about offense.
It didn't help.
Edinson Volquez pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the San Diego Padres handed the Seattle Mariners their fifth straight loss, 6-2 Thursday night
"We've got to get out of this funk here at home," Wedge said. "We know what we are capable of doing offensively — that hasn't left us. But we have to get over that hump here at home and breakout."
Volquez (3-6) was in command all night, allowing one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked four.
Since six pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter against the Dodgers on June 1, the Mariners have not won — all at home.
Converted reliever Erasmo Ramirez (0-1) took the loss in his first start for the Mariners. He threw five innings, allowing eight hits and six runs — five earned. He struck out three and walked one.
Volquez used his off-speed pitches to do his part in a dominant series for San Diego starters. In an interleague matchup of last-place teams, the Padres starters yielded only two earned runs in three games at Seattle.
"You saw all three pitches again effective," San Diego manager Bud Black said of Volquez. "Overall, it was a strong performance. Three-pitch mix was very good."
San Diego put together four singles to score three runs in the third. Chris Denorfia led off with an infield single, then Jesus Guzman blooped a hit to right.
John Baker was trying to put down a sacrifice bunt, but it turned into a single when Ramirez did not commit off the mound. Third baseman Kyle Seager ran to cover third, and shortstop Munenori Kawasaki sprinted to second. The ball just rolled out to shortstop, and everyone was safe.
Baker said he was trying to bunt hard and possibly turn the play into a hit. Wedge said Seager's reaction was proper.
"If Ramirez gets off the mound and fields that, we got the lead guy at third base," Wedge said. "Makes it a completely different inning."
Kawasaki made a leaping grab of Alexi Amarista's liner to temporarily stem the rally, but Will Venable singled crisply to right, the first hard hit of the inning, to score Denorfia.
Everth Cabrera followed with a grounder to Seager, who threw to second. Second baseman Dustin Ackley tried to turn a double play, but threw low to first. Guzman scored on the fielder's choice and Baker came in on Ackley's throwing error when the ball bounced past Justin Smoak.
The Padres chased Ramirez with three consecutive hits to open the sixth. Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso singled, and Denorfia doubled to score Quentin.
"I felt like Ramirez was OK today," Wedge said. "He gets up a little bit and it flattens out on him, that's what we saw tonight."
Hisashi Iwakuma replaced Ramirez and allowed a single to Guzman. That was Iwakuma's only batter faced, and he threw just two pitches.
Charlie Furbush took his place. Hitters were 0 for 32 against Furbush in his last 11 1-3 innings before Baker and Amarista hit back-to-back singles. Furbush struck out Venable and Cabrera to end the inning with San Diego ahead 6-0.
Volquez sailed through the first five innings, allowing only one hit. Ramirez was right with him following a 28-pitch first. Cabrera had a 13-pitch at-bat in the first to earn a walk, raising Ramirez's pitch count early.
But Ramirez zipped through the second, third and fourth, allowing just a leadoff single in the second before retiring nine consecutive batters.
Ackley singled in the seventh to drive in Franklin Gutierrez and snap Seattle's 15-inning scoreless streak. Gutierrez made his season debut Thursday after recovering from a partial right pectoral tear followed by plantar fasciitis. In his first at-bat, he was hit by a pitch from Volquez.
Gutierrez finished 1 for 2 and drove in a run in the eighth.
NOTES: Logan Forsythe was a late scratch because of side abdominal "discomfort," according to Black. . San Diego's three starters for the weekend series against Oakland will be Anthony Bass, Ross Ohlendorf and Clayton Richard. ... Seattle left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge has not allowed an earned run in his first 24 major league appearances. The streak spans 16 innings, a club record.