It was a simple, get-it-over pitch on a 3-0 count in the first inning. Given the green light, Kyle Seager belted the ball well over the right-field wall.
Seager’s early three-run home run proved to be plenty of support for veteran Chris Young, who threw six shutout innings in Seattle’s 5-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night before 17,512 at Safeco Field.
It was the team-leading 10th homer of the season for Seager, nine of which have come at Safeco. Seager also had a team-best 45 RBI.
With James Jones on third and one out, Seager was hoping to get the signal for a green light on the 3-0 pitch from Padres starter Tyson Ross. And he did.
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“When you get the opportunity, you gotta make sure you capitalize and get the ball in the air,” Seager said.
Brad Miller had a solo homer off Ross in the second inning, his fifth of the season. Over the past 16 games, Miller is hitting .260.
“The last couple weeks at least, I’ve been feeling a lot better,” Miller said. “Obviously, you want to get everything back in one day, but just having better at-bats and being more competitive in there definitely will add up.”
Robinson Cano added an opposite-field double in the second inning, scoring Jones from second base and pushing the Mariners’ lead to 5-0.
That was all the scoring on the night for Seattle, and all Young would need.
The 6-foot-10 right-hander allowed just four singles in six innings against his old club. He struck out six and walked one on 88 pitches.
Young pitched for the Padres for five seasons, and pitched against them with a heavy heart after the news of Tony Gwynn’s death spread Monday morning. Young still has a home in San Diego.
“I certainly understand and appreciate his greatness. It’s a sad, sad day for everyone there,” Young said, adding: “I’m sure it was a really tough night for their organization, for their players, for their coaches. So I’m sympathetic to what they’re going through emotionally. I know it can’t be easy coming out on the field. They’re probably a better team than what they’ve showed.”
Young was an All-Star for the Padres in 2007. Monday was his first start against them, completing a major-league cycle of sorts: San Diego was the only MLB team that Young hadn’t pitched against in his career.
“When you set out on a baseball career, you hope you play long enough to do something like that. Yeah, it’s great,” Young said. “Maybe one day I’ll reflect on it more. But this game has certainly given me more than I could ever ask for.”
The Padres got two runners on in the first inning before Young escaped the mini-jam when Seager made a nice catch near the stands in foul territory.
Young improved to 6-4 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.40. He is 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts at Safeco this season.
The Mariners (36-34) have won two consecutive after snapping a five-game losing streak on Sunday against Texas.
Ross (6-6) took the loss after allowing five earned runs on seven hits. He walked a career-high seven, hit one batter and had one wild pitch.
“We were fortunate,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He wasn’t very sharp early on, and our guys took advantage of it.”
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364