SEATTLE - In a season where so many games have been lost, and more than half of the games remaining could reach a similar result, the impetus for the Mariners is development for those players that have been ordained as part of the future roster.
Yet as manager Scott Servais pointed out before this series with the Padres began: "Once the game starts we are trying to win every night."
And in a way, that's part of development of several of these young players as well, perhaps more important than swing adjustments and tweaks to pitching mechanics, learning how to execute to win games that aren't blowouts.
Seattle did that on Wednesday afternoon, snapping a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Padres.
With the score tied at 2 in the eighth inning, the Mariners got the one run they needed. Mallex Smith led off with a double, advanced to third on J.P. Crawford's sacrifice bunt and scored when Daniel Vogelbach's "speed" allowed him to beat out a potential inning-ending double play to score Smith.
Anthony Bass got the save in the ninth, aided by a pretty 4-6-3 game-ending double play.
Seattle got a solid and important start from Yusei Kikuchi.
The rookie left-hander wasn't efficient, but he was effective. He pitched five innings, allowing one run on four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. Not one of the five innings were clean, but the last four were scoreless.
It was a dubious beginning to the start for Kikuchi as his only run allowed came immediately.
Fernando Tatis Jr., a 20-year-old phenom and the most important piece of the Padres' push back to relevance, homered for a second straight game against the Mariners.
The rookie shortstop hammered a 3-2 slider that split the middle of the plate, sending a rocket into the upper deck of left field. Tatis' 21st homer of the season had 111 mph exit velocity and measured 409 feet, per MLB Statcast.
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