Pineiro finds groove in M's win over Padres

RHP Joel Pineiro (Getty Images)

Seattle improved to 49-24 on the year, and increased its lead in the American League West to 6.5 games over Oakland, which lost to San Francisco. Ryan Franklin will take the mound in the rubber match against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Again, Joel Pineiro couldn't find his control in the first inning. Again, Pineiro gave up two runs before the game had reached the second inning. Again, the Seattle Mariners' right-hander settled down, hit a groove, and led the Mariners to a victory despite the early troubles, 4-2 over San Diego Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.

Same old story, different outing for Pineiro, who can't seem to figure out why he is a different pitcher in the first inning.

Catcher Ben Davis, who caught Pineiro, said after the game on the Mariners' telecast that he felt Pineiro just has a tendency to leave pitches high in the opening inning.

Even so, Seattle (49-24) needed only four runs because of the way their 24-year-old righty settled down, holding the Padres (24-52) scoreless from the second inning through the seventh.

Padres' starter Adam Eaton, a graduate of Snohomish High, gave up two runs to the Mariners in the first and two more in the second. That's where the scoring ended.

Pineiro (7-5) allowed just two hits after a three-hit first and struck out seven in the game.

Eaton fell to 2-6 on the season, giving up seven hits, four runs, and five walks in five innings.

Tied 2-2 at heading into the second, the Mariners took advantage of Eaton's wildness to push the decisive runs across the plate.

With runners on second and third and only one out, Eaton intentionally walked Ichiro Suzuki to load the bases. The plan failed miserably, as Eaton walked Mark McLemore, making it 3-2 Mariners, and two batters later walked John Olerud. At 4-2, Pineiro took over.

He retired the final 12 batters he faced, stretching from the fourth through seventh innings, in order.

Arthur Rhodes took over in the eighth and got four outs, leaving the final two for Shigetoshi Hasegawa to earn his first save of the year.

The Mariners had 10 hits, led by the three-double day from Davis. Ichiro and Jeff Cirillo each added two hits.

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