SEATTLE -- What the Seattle Mariners starting pitchers accomplished against San Diego this season was impressive.
Blake Beavan's major league debut was a fitting capper.Beavan threw seven strong innings of one-run ball Sunday, Ichiro Suzuki had two hits and scored twice and the Mariners beat the Padres 3-1.Seattle took five of six against San Diego in interleague play and the Mariners' pitching staff was at their best versus the Padres. In the six games, Seattle's starters were 5-1 with a 0.50 ERA in 54 innings, with 56 strikeouts and just eight walks. The Padres hit .162 against Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Doug Fister, Jason Vargas, Erik Bedard and Beavan.While he was the newest member of that group on Sunday, Beavan (1-0) fit right in."It was definitely a great feeling being out there on that mound," said the 22-year-old Beavan.Starting in place of Bedard, who went on the 15-day disabled list earlier this week with a sprained left knee, Beavan looked as if he belonged in the majors.Beavan allowed just three hits and struck out four, becoming just the eighth pitcher in club history to go at least seven innings in his major league debut, and the first since Jim Converse in 1993. David Pauley pitched the eighth and All-Star Brandon League picked up his 22nd save in 25 chances in the ninth.While he was considered the likely choice since Bedard went on the disabled list earlier in the week, Beavan didn't find out until Saturday afternoon he'd be making the short trip up Interstate 5 to make his major league debut. He scrambled and was able to get his wife and parents on flights from Texas to Seattle in time to see his first start."Them being here kind of helped me calm down, too, so it felt comfortable out there," Beavan said.Known for his control in the minors, Beavan showed that ability to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters in his debut. Beavan started 21 of the 27 batters he faced with strikes and his strikes to balls ratio was nearly 3-to-1 -- 64 strikes, 26 balls.He relied mostly on a sharp fastball and his slider, but Beavan also mixed in a sinker and a new curveball he's been working on in the minors. It helped too that Beavan was throwing to Josh Bard, who caught Beavan at Triple-A Tacoma."It was fortunate that I was down there in Triple-A. We had been talking about this moment and trying to get him prepared for it and I thought he did a very good job," Bard said. "We've been preaching ... about execution, execution, execution and slowing his heart rate down and he did a great job today."Beavan was the final piece of the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Texas last July to make his major league debut. Justin Smoak has started 74 games this season at first base while Josh Lueke started the season in Seattle's bullpen before being sent down to Tacoma and developing into a Pacific Coast League All-Star.The Padres lone run off Beavan came in the third when Will Venable followed Alberto Gonzalez's single with a double into the right-center field gap that rolled all the way to the wall and allowed Gonzalez to score from first base.Venable had the only other hit off Beavan with a two-out single in the fifth."We didn't have a whole lot on him but he threw a lot of fastballs and we didn't make the adjustment," San Diego's Nick Hundley said.A day after being shut out and watching San Diego score its only run when Cameron Maybin walked after a ball made the count full and no one in the stadium caught on it was only ball three, Seattle needed just three batters to take the lead on San Diego starter Mat Latos (5-9).Suzuki led off with a single, stole second and scored on Adam Kennedy's opposite-field single. The Mariners got two more off Latos in the third when Suzuki and Brendan Ryan started the inning with consecutive singles and Kennedy walked to load the bases.Smoak then hit a 3-2 pitch to deep left field that off the bat looked like it could be Seattle's first grand slam of the season. But the ball died and fell into Chris Denorfia's glove on the warning track, deep enough to score Suzuki and for Ryan to tag up and advance to third. Ryan's aggressiveness was rewarded when rookie Dustin Ackley followed with a fly ball to center that was deep enough for Ryan to score and give Seattle a 3-1 lead.
Home plate umpire Bill Miller was visibly using a pitch indicator on Sunday, a day after the count on the stadium scoreboard was wrong when Maybin walked. ... Suzuki was left off the initial American League All-Star roster for the first time in his career when the team was released on Sunday. Suzuki responded with hits in his first two at-bats. Suzuki was an All-Star each of first 10 seasons. ... Padres closer Heath Bell was San Diego's only All-Star representative. Manager Bud Black held out hope middle reliever Mike Adams might get selected.
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SEATTLE - JULY 03: Starting pitcher Blake Beavan #49 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the San Diego Padres...