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Mariners 9, Padres 2

Mariners 9, Padres 2
SAN DIEGO (AP) - With Ichiro Suzuki matching his career-high with a 5-for-5 day, the lowly Seattle Mariners appear to be showing signs of hope.

Of course, it helped that they were facing the nearly-as-woeful San Diego Padres this weekend in a matchup of the two worst teams in the big leagues.

While Suzuki put on a hitting clinic with his five singles, Adrian Beltre and Jeff Clement homered and the Mariners beat Jake Peavy and the punchless Padres 9-2 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

The three-game winning streak matches the Mariners' season-high. Although Seattle still has the worst record in the major leagues at 31-50, the Padres (32-51) are closing fast.

The Padres have lost a season-high eight straight games and 13 of 15, all against the AL. The Padres finished interleague play 3-15, worst in the majors.

"We feel like we're playing pretty good baseball and just trying to win the game, not get ahead of ourselves," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Just make every pitch, every play count. I think the guys are doing that. They're focusing and giving a good effort. Our pitchers have been going deep in this game here this series and giving us a good chance."

Things aren't so hopeful in the Padres' clubhouse.

"I don't think anybody on this team has a whole lot of confidence in the team's play," said Peavy, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner. "The confidence level is not real high right now."

Erik Bedard (5-4) won for the first time in five starts and improved to 3-0 lifetime against the Padres. Bedard and three relievers held San Diego to six hits.

The Mariners had a season-high 18 hits. With five singles, Suzuki outhit the entire Padres lineup through seven innings. It was the seventh time that the two-time batting champion had five hits. The last time was May 15, 2007, against the Los Angeles Angels.

"All five of those hits, the barrel of the bat was on the ball real good every time," Riggleman said. "I was really glad to see that. Ich is what he is. He's done some things that nobody in the history of the game has ever done and he was displaying that stuff out there today."

Suzuki scored two runs and raised his average from .286 to .297.

"I felt today that my attitude toward hitting, which is very difficult, that keeping myself in good balance is very important. That was something that was a key today to my performance."

Seattle, deemed San Diego's natural rival in interleague play, has won eight straight games at Petco Park and is 14-4 against the Padres since the start of the 2006 season.

This one got so bad that the fans booed during the bullpen's meltdown in a five-run seventh inning, when the first seven Mariners batters reached base against two relievers.

"How can it get any lower?" said Peavy, noting that San Diego was 1-8 on the homestand. "It's just uncalled for. There's no excuse for it. We have to find a way to get better."

It's clear that Peavy is frustrated.

"You have to be real with yourself," he added. "I know that I can't go six innings and give up three runs and think that I'm going to win a ballgame around here. It's just not the way it's going. I knew when I gave up the home run in the sixth inning it was probably the game. Maybe that's a bad way to think, but that's the way things are going around here. I'm a realist."

Peavy (5-5) allowed three runs and a season-high 10 hits in six innings while striking out six.

Beltre homered into the balcony on the second level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse just beyond the left-field corner for a 3-0 lead in the sixth. It was his 15th, and Jose Vidro was aboard on a leadoff single.

The Mariners piled on in the seventh against Bryan Corey and Carlos Guevara, getting six straight singles - starting with Suzuki - and a walk. Corey failed to get an out while allowing four hits and four runs. Jeremy Reed hit a two-run single while Raul Ibanez, Vidro and Beltre each singled in a run.

Clement homered to right-center off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth, his second.

Peavy allowed three runs and a season-high 10 hits in six innings, with six strikeouts. He's 1-2 in four starts since a stint on the disabled list to let his swollen right elbow heal.

Bedard, who also beat the Padres 4-2 at Seattle on May 17, allowed one run and three hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Notes: The Padres open a three-game series Monday at Colorado, their first trip to Denver since losing the wild-card tiebreaker game in 13 innings on Oct. 1. ... Since Felix Hernandez's ankle is still tender, the Mariners will turn to their bullpen to get them through Tuesday night's game against Toronto. Riggleman said a starter hasn't been determined.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: June 30, 2008

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