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03/04/10 6:00 PM ET

Stairs, Blanks stand out in opener

Hairston adds RBI as Padres begin Cactus League play

Mariners 9, Padres 3
at Peoria, Ariz.
Thursday, March 4

Padres at the plate: Designated hitter Matt Stairs slugged his first home run, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. Left fielder Kyle Blanks went 2-for-2, including a double. Second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. singled and scored a run.

Mariners at the plate: Tommy Everidge capped a six-run outburst in the eighth inning with a grand slam. Mike Wilson stroked a run-scoring double to right-center field, scoring Josh Wilson with the tie-breaking run and Dustin Ackley added a run-scoring single in the inning. Utility infielder Matt Tuiasosopo continued his Arizona hot streak with a second-inning triple. He now has at least one hit in seven of his last nine Cactus League games. First baseman Ryan Garko hit his first home run, a solo shot to left-center in the fifth inning in his Mariners debut.

Padres on the mound: Right-hander Chris Young, a candidate to be the Padres' Opening Day starter, pitched one inning, allowing three hits and one run. He walked one and struck out two, both with the bases loaded.

Mariners on the mound: Left-hander Jason Vargas made his first start of the spring a good one. The fifth-starter candidate tossed two scoreless innings, surrendering one hit. Right-handed closer David Aardsma walked the first batter he faced, but induced a double-play grounder en route to a scoreless inning. Right-hander Shawn Kelley surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced, then struck out the next three.

Cactus League records: Mariners 1-1, Padres 0-1

Worth noting: Most of the attention on Friday will be on a simulated game at one of the practice fields. Right-hander Felix Hernandez and left-hander Cliff Lee will toss two innings apiece. They are being brought along slower than other starters this spring, primarily because they pitched so many innings last season. Lee logged a career-high 272 innings, counting the postseason, and Hernandez worked a career-high 238 2/3. Hernandez is tentatively scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday, followed by Lee on Wednesday.

Six of the Padres' top 10 prospects, according to Baseball America, are in camp this spring. The list includes the organization's Minor League Player of the Year in 2009, infielder James Darnell, and Pitcher of the Year, right-hander Simon Castro.

What's next: Manager Don Wakamatsu is playing his regulars every other day early in the Cactus League season, which means Ichiro Suzuki, Chone Figgins, Milton Bradley, Jose Lopez and Ken Griffey Jr. figure to be in the lineup in the second game of a four-game series at 12:05 p.m. PT on Friday against the Padres. Right-hander Luke French gets the start, followed by lefty Garrett Olson and right-handers Mark Lowe, Chad Cordero, Josh Fields and Steven Shell.

On Friday, the Padres will get a look at three pitchers who are contending for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation -- Sean Gallagher, Mat Latos and Wade LeBlanc. Each will throw two innings against the Mariners. Gallagher is out of options, meaning he has to make the team as either a starter or reliever or the team will risk losing him.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.