Published June 23, 2012
| Sports Network
For most pitchers, a 3.52 ERA would be considered very successful, but for someone like Felix Hernandez, it marks one of the worst starts of his career.
Hernandez is just 4-5 on the season, and he's won only one game dating back to the beginning of May. He had given up four earned runs or more in five of his previous six starts before he got back on track on June 17 against the Giants, pitching seven innings while allowing one earned run and striking out seven in a no decision.
Hernandez's first and only career start against the Padres came just a few weeks back on June 12, when he was saddled with the loss after allowing nine hits, three walks, and five earned runs in six innings of work.
The Padres will answer with Jason Marquis, who has recently found new life in San Diego.
Marquis was having a miserable season with Minnesota before being released in late May, going 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA.
Since joining the Padres however, the veteran right-hander has pitched great. A lack of run support has led to a 1-2 record in three starts, but he has a 1.86 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
Marquis pitched seven strong innings in a 2-1 loss to the Rangers in his latest outing on June 18, allowing five hits and two earned runs while striking out 10.
Despite getting down 4-0 early on Friday night, the Padres managed to rally back to claim a 9-5 win in the first game of the series.
A pair of home runs from Franklin Gutierrez and Miguel Olivo gave the Mariners a lift in the first and second innings, but the Padres answered with a two-run fourth and a five-run fifth and never looked back.
Clayton Richard (5-7) earned the win despite the rough start, finishing with 6 2/3 innings while allowing six hits, three walks, and five runs (three earned). Richard also helped himself with the bat, going 2-for-2 with three RBI, including a crucial RBI double in the five-run fourth.
"He played a complete baseball game," Padres manager Bud Black said.
"The first at-bat, I got a pitch I could handle and got a good swing," Richard added, who came into the game with just one hit in 25 at-bats this season. "I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team."
Will Venable had three hits and scored three runs, while Chase Headley added three RBI in the rare offensive outburst for the Padres.
Kevin Millwood (3-6) suffered the loss for the Mariners, allowing eight runs (five earned) in five innings of work.
Gutierrez finished 4-for-5 with two RBI for Seattle and Ichiro added three hits out of the leadoff spot.