02/27/11 6:50 PM EST
Hundley's slam leads Padres' wild opener
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
Padres catcher Nick Hundley launched a grand slam in the fifth inning off Mariners reliever Denny Bautista to lead the San Diego offense.Hundley, who has inherited the starting role this season for the first time, went 2-for-3 with five RBIs. San Diego also got a two-run blast from second baseman Logan Forsythe in the fifth off Justin Miller as the Padres knocked around several Seattle relievers. Mariners shortstop Jack Wilson, competing for a starting job this spring with newly acquired Brendan Ryan, also got off a nice start with three RBIs on a pair of singles as both teams broke out the bats at Peoria Stadium. One of the few effective pitchers was Seattle starter Erik Bedard, who threw a 1-2-3 first inning with two strikeouts in his first appearance on the mound in 18 months due to shoulder problems.
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Bedard, 31, needed just nine pitches to set down the Padres in order. He struck out San Diego's first two batters, Will Venable and Everth Cabrera, and got a first-pitch groundout by Jorge Cantu in what he called "probably the best inning I've ever had in Spring Training history."Seattle, the lowest-scoring team in the Major Leagues last year, pushed across five runs on six hits in the second inning off Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer, who is competing for the No. 4 spot in San Diego's rotation. New Mariners manager Eric Wedge, looking for middle-of-the-order run production, went with young Justin Smoak in the cleanup spot, and he was 1-for-2 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly. But it was Wilson in the No. 9 spot who delivered Sunday with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the second and a run-scoring base hit in the third. Chone Figgins went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and Adam Kennedy, starting at second base, was also 2-for-3 with a stolen base and two runs scored for Seattle. San Diego third baseman Chase Headley, a switch-hitter who has vowed to hit better from the right side this year after posting a .217 average against lefties in 2010, went 2-for-2 with a walk against left-hander Luke French. French pitched two innings after replacing Bedard, starting a string of ineffective relief innings for Seattle. Bautista, a 30-year-old veteran trying to catch on as a non-roster invitee, gave up five runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.
Up next: The Padres and Mariners lock up again at 12:05 p.m. PT on Monday in Peoria, this time with the Padres as the home team.
The Padres plan to give new middle infielders Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett their Cactus League debuts, with Wade LeBlanc getting the start against Mariners right-hander Doug Fister.