Mariners left-hander Erik Bedard, his opponent in Friday's Interleague opener for the Spring Training complex neighbors, is glad he's finally getting a chance to pitch.
Sure, the veteran has made seven starts already this season. But when he takes to the mound on Friday, he'll have thrown just two-thirds of an inning over a 12-day span, after rain halted his last start against the Indians.
That's good news for the Mariners, as the veteran had a 1.89 ERA over his previous three outings before the postponed game in Cleveland. He'll try to improve his season numbers -- 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA -- against a Padres club that's lost 15 games at home -- the most in the Major Leagues -- but is coming off a 1-0 win over Milwaukee.
With Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda slated to follow Bedard, there's even good reason the Padres would like to see Latos build on his first victory of the season, ending a winless streak that included 10 losses and a no-decision.
Latos allowed one earned run in 5 2/3 innings to beat the Rockies his last time out, and may have fixed a mechanical flaw in the course of that game.
"It was just a mechanical issue that's been going on. I wasn't staying closed on my front shoulder," Latos said. "Before, [my shoulder] was flying open. Keeping it closed helps me not pull off on my slider, allows me to stay on top of my two-seamer [fastball] and it also makes me more direct to the plate."
The Padres compiled their second-best winning percentage against the American League in franchise history last season, going 9-6 overall. That included four wins in six tries against the Mariners.
Seattle, meanwhile, is tied for the sixth-best record all-time among the 30 Major League clubs in Interleague Play, having gone 136-112 (.548). Though the Mariners recorded 101 losses in 2010, they still went 9-9 against the National League.
Despite the success, count Mariners manager Eric Wedge among those who don't like playing so many Interleague games. The club plays four of its six Interleague series at home this season.
"To have home-and-home rivalries -- some of which are real, some are not -- that's fine to give the fans a taste of Interleague," Wedge said. "The fact that you have to take it as far as you take it, I don't know if that's necessary. But [if] the fans like it, it's going to happen. I'm all for it."
Mariners: Hernandez still strutting grand slam
Hernandez has grabbed countless awards during his impressive career.
But count an Interleague plate appearance among his all-time highlights.
Despite years having passed since, the Cy Young winner isn't letting his teammates forget his grand slam off Mets pitcher Johan Santana in 2008. Now that Interleague Play has once again resumed, Hernandez will try to add another one to his already impressive resume.
"Felix has talked a big game," Wedge said. "Let's see if he can back that up. Does he have a batting average after the grand slam? Because I haven't heard anything but that."
Padres: Hudson's return pays off in walkoff
Orlando Hudson returned from the disabled list on Thursday, contributing the game-winning sacrifice fly in the ninth inning of the Padres' 1-0 win over the Brewers.
Hudson, 33, probably didn't need the entire 15 days to recover from a strained right hamstring sustained on May 3, but the club wanted to make sure he was sound and the team's needs were covered.
"You can hold an injured player back two, three, four games. But if you get past seven days, eight days and you're playing short, it's tough," manager Bud Black said.
Latos has seen success in his three career starts in Interleague Play, going 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA. He has given up just three runs on 11 hits in those games (spanning 19 2/3 innings) to go along with 20 strikeouts.
The Mariners have two starters with ERAs lower than Hernandez. Doug Fister, who lowered his ERA to 2.93 after allowing one run over eight innings in Thursday's 2-1 win over the Angels, is second on the team, while rookie Pineda leads the staff with a 2.45 ERA. Hernandez checks in third, with a 3.23 ERA.
Padres shortstop Jason Bartlett went 0-for-3 and had his season-high 10-game hitting streak snapped on Thursday. Bartlett, now batting .362 (17-for-47) over his last 11 games, had a nine-game RBI streak snapped the day before. The hitting streak was the Padres' second longest this season behind Hudson's 11-gamer from April 3-15.