When Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan lofted a fly ball down the left-field line Thursday against the Padres, he was "102 percent" sure it would go foul. It didn't, staying fair for his second home run of the season.
SAN DIEGO — When Brendan Ryan hit a towering drive down the left-field line in the third inning, he thought little of it. He was sure the ball was going to hook out of play.
But lo and behold, it tucked just inside the foul pole, and just beyond the wall, for his second homer of the season.
“I don’t even know how to describe that one,” Ryan said. “On that pitch, it was a changeup in and I got the barrel to it. And it was like, whack, I hit it, and I was starting to prepare for the next pitch.
“I was 102 percent for sure it was a foul. I don’t know what happened, if the wind brought it back, or if the spin did it, I don’t know what happened. But that was the least expected, most awesome result I could ever not imagine.”
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That was one of five Mariners homers as they matched the most hit by an opponent at Petco Park. The fences were moved in this season, but Padres officials said that only the homer by Endy Chavez in the seventh wouldn’t have gone out last year.
Rookie Nick Franklin hit two homers, and Kendrys Morales got the Mariners’ offense going with a solo in the second. Morales also delivered a two-out RBI single in the third.
“He leads us offensively, whether it be getting something going or finishing off an inning,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Morales. “And he keeps getting better, as far as I’m concerned.”
Wedge was pleased with the Mariners’ effort in every facet of Thursday’s game, particularly on offense.
“This is what we’re looking for right here. You don’t expect to hit four or five home runs, but the type of at-bats we had, and hitting the ball hard, playing a full game like we did — this is it. This is what we’re shooting to do on a regular basis.
“It’s not going to be that kind of score every time, but this is the way you want to compete at home plate. We’ve got some guys I feel are headed in the right direction, some guys that are still trying to find it. We’re a little bit banged up, so it’s nice to see these guys step up.”
• Felix Hernandez was jokingly bragging about forcing Padres pitchers to throw him 19 pitches in his three at-bats on Thursday.
Actually, it was 18, but Wedge was sincere when he praised Hernandez for making them work. The results included a walk from reliever Tim Stauffer in the seventh, after which Hernandez scored via Chavez’s homer.
“That means something,” Wedge said. “That’s the difference between that guy pitching another inning or not, really. I think he was feeling the flow, man. You keep seeing pitches, you put up those type quality at-bats as a pitcher, and you contribute to the offense.”
Said Hernandez, whose shining offensive moment is a grand slam off Johan Santana in 2008: “I have to take some pitches. I’ve been striking out a lot.”
• Franklin became the seventh-youngest Mariner to record a multi-homer game. He’s 22 years, 89 days. Only Ken Griffey Jr. (three times) and Alex Rodriguez (three times) hit two homers in a game at a younger age.
• Only two other rookies (Seattle’s Kenji Johjima and San Diego’s Ben Johnson, both in 2006) have had a multi-homer game at Petco. And just three other American League players since the start of 2011 had hit their first two career homers in the same game: Baltimore’s Manny Machado, Boston’s Ryan Lavarnway, and Jesus Montero, with the Yankees.