Mariners edge A’s; Giants fall to Padres
April 11, 2009
OAKLAND ” David Aardsma was a big-time closer at Rice University, helping the Owls win a national championship. He figured he’d do the same thing in the majors.
Five years after making his big-league debut, he finally got the chance and converted it.
Endy Chavez had three hits and drove in two runs, and Aardsma assured the Seattle Mariners would end a four-game losing streak in Oakland with a 5-4 victory over the A’s on Friday night.
“I put him in a situation that’s not easy,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “Two-inning saves are not easy to get.”
Yuniesky Betancourt also drove in two runs for the Mariners, who won their second straight by scoring all five of their runs in the second inning off A’s starter Brett Anderson.
Orlando Cabrera had three hits and drove in a run for the A’s, who were playing for the first time since the death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.
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Chris Jakubauskas (1-0) pitched two innings in relief of Ryan Rowland-Smith to earn his first major league victory. Aardsma got the final six outs for his first career save.
“I’m most happy that I did my job,” Aardsma said. “I felt like this was my first ever real opportunity. It feels good.”
Aardsma came into the dugout after a perfect eighth and Wakamatsu asked him if he could go another inning.
“No matter what happens, you’re always going to say yes,” Aardsma said. “It’s one of those things I thought I’d become a lot earlier than this.”
Anderson (0-1) allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings in his big league debut. He walked two and struck out two.
“It looked worse than it was, but I still have to eliminate the big inning,” Anderson said. “It got a little out of hand.”
Padres 7, Giants 3
SAN DIEGO ” Scott Hairston always seems to have big games against the San Francisco Giants.
Hairston made a leaping catch against the wall in left-center, then hit a three-run homer to highlight the San Diego Padres’ 7-3 win against Barry Zito and the Giants.
There were two rarities at Petco Park Friday night ” a 51-minute rain delay and the Padres popping above .500.
Coming off a big comeback win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres got another big team effort.
“Not unlike yesterday, you can point to a lot of guys who had a big part in this game,” manager Bud Black said.
Hairston hit his 10th career homer against the Giants.
“It happens, man. I really can’t say. It’s just been working out that way,” Hairston said. “I don’t prepare any different when the Giants come into town.”
With the Padres leading 4-2 with a runner on first and none out in the eighth, Hairston, the left fielder, made a nice leaping catch of Bengie Molina’s fly ball near the top of the fence in left-center.
“He’s the type of guy, when the game’s on the line, he’s going to drive the ball somewhere,” Hairston said. “I was thankful that it stayed in the park tonight. I think it was right at the top of the wall. It could have gone either way. I know I didn’t bring it back, that’s for sure. I know it would have been at least a double off the wall if I didn’t catch it.”
In the bottom of the inning, Hairston hit a three-run homer to center off Merkin Valdez.
It’s the first time the Padres (3-2) are above .500 since they were 8-7 last April 16. San Diego finished 63-99 last year, 21 games behind the NL West-winning Dodgers.
Shawn Hill (1-0) won his Padres debut while Zito (0-1) lasted only four innings in his season debut.
A light rain turned into a downpour by the bottom of the fifth inning. With it raining off and on, the umpires ordered the teams off the field after the bottom of the sixth.
Zito, who is 21-31 with the Giants since signing a $126 million contract in December 2006, gave up four runs and seven hits. He threw 93 pitches, striking out four and walking two.