Kouzmanoff's Walk Off Single Beats Mariners In 10

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN DIEGO -- Adrian Gonzalez hasn't lost his home run swing, and the San Diego Padres can indeed win an interleague game.

Gonzalez was the main reason the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in 10 innings Thursday to end their major league-record interleague losing streak at 13.

He matched his career high with four hits, including his first homer in 13 games to tie Albert Pujols for the big league lead with 23, and scored the winning run with two outs in the 10th.

Gonzalez doubled off Miguel Batista (3-2) and scored on Kevin Kouzmanoff's single to left, beating the throw from Endy Chavez.

"The only thing that matters is that we won," Gonzalez said. "Going 4 for 4 is a side note. Just the fact that we were able to win a game and end the losing streak and win a game against the American League, that was nice."

Gonzalez said he didn't even know the Padres had lost 13 straight to AL clubs, including the first two of this series and three straight last weekend at the Los Angeles Angels.

"We got the hit at the end," manager Bud Black said. "It's good anytime to get a W. That was a well-played game by both sides; pitched well. Two offenses that haven't been at the top of their game this season."

Gonzalez tied the score at 3 with his homer to straightaway center off Chris Jakubauskas leading off the sixth, his first since June 2 against Philadelphia. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who hit two homers for the Mariners, ran back to the fence and leaped for the ball but it hit off the back of his glove and went over. Gutierrez slapped his glove in frustration.

"He gave it a great effort, but I'm glad he didn't catch it," Gonzalez said.

Teams have tried to give Gonzalez little to hit, but the slugger admits he's had his chances. He's walked 20 times in 14 games.

"The biggest thing in this game was to let Gonzalez beat us twice in one game," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. "This is the guy who can do the most damage. He ends up hitting a home run and a double when we are trying to pitch around him. That is the most frustrating part."

Jakubauskas said he threw the home run pitch down the middle.

"I wasn't trying to pitch around him but I was trying to make my pitch," he said. "But it was probably the wrong time to challenge him."

Gonzalez said he's been seeing some pitches to hit lately.

"I've gotten strikes and I haven't been ready for them, and I've been too ready and gone after pitches out of the zone lately," he said. "I've hit balls good but they just haven't been landing for me. For the most part I'm getting strikes. I'm not getting as many strikes as I did two years ago. But I'm getting strikes. I'm getting a couple opportunities to get hits every game. I've got to hit them, I can't miss them."

Heath Bell (3-1) threw two innings for the win.

The Padres had lost 10 straight games to Seattle in San Diego, and 16 of 20 overall against the Mariners. Overall, the Padres snapped a five-game losing streak and won for just the fifth time in 18 games.

Gutierrez hit two homers for the first time in his career, both off Josh Geer. Gutierrez has six this season.

He homered into the sand play area beyond the fence in right-center with one out in the fourth to tie the game at 2. His second shot landed in the balcony on the second level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner with one out in the sixth to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit an RBI double for the second straight game, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead in the first. San Diego went ahead in the bottom half on David Eckstein's RBI double and Gonzalez's RBI single.

Geer allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, struck out six and walked none.

Brandon Morrow made his second straight start for Mariners left-hander Erik Bedard, on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Morrow lasted four innings, allowing two runs and five hits with six strikeouts and one walk.


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