SEATTLE (AP) -- Two starts ago, Aaron Sele nearly pitched himself out of Seattle's rotation. On Sunday, he threw one of the best games of his career.
Sele tossed a four-hitter for his first complete game in nearly three years to lead the Mariners past the San Diego Padres 5-0, and he especially enjoyed working with 42-year-old catcher Pat Borders."His game plan was great. It was a fun game and he did a great job," Sele said.Sele (3-4) struck out three and walked one in his ninth career shutout and 15th complete game. The last was a three-hit shutout for the Angels in a 7-0 victory over the Dodgers on July 29, 2002.He retired 13 of his final 14 batters and threw 69 of his 112 pitches for strikes in Seattle's first shutout of the season."He's the same type of pitcher, but I think he's gotten more refined," said Borders, who caught Sele once during the 2001 season.Jeremy Reed had three hits and two RBI for the Mariners, who snapped San Diego's eight-game winning streak Saturday night and took two of three from the Padres to earn their first winning homestand since last July. Seattle went 5-4 against Boston, the Yankees and San Diego.It was also the first time this season Seattle has won two straight home games."I think today was more indicative of the type of club that we have," manager Mike Hargrove said.Sele was nearly pulled from the rotation after lasting just 2 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium on May 10. But the 34-year-old right-hander was solid for the second time in a week, getting his first win since April 29 at Oakland. Last Monday, he gave up one
run in six innings against the Yankees but got a no-decision in a 6-3 Seattle loss.Sele said he has been working on his mechanics with pitching coach Bryan Price, adjusting his release point and trying to keep the ball down more. Hargrove kept Sele in the rotation while he made the changes."More times than not, patience will pay off and you just got to allow people the room to stumble a little bit and pick themselves up," Hargrove said. "Aaron has certainly stumbled and seems to have recovered nicely."Mark Sweeney hit a hanging curveball for a single with one out in the first, but Sele retired his next six batters. Ryan Klesko
had an infield single in the fourth, Sean Burroughs singled in the fifth and Dave Roberts singled in the ninth for the only other hits off Sele."That was the best-pitched game we've had against us," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "We just saw a guy who was locked in. He had great command."Meanwhile, Seattle's offense gave Sele some early support. Richie Sexson hit the first of his two doubles leading off the second and scored on Bret Boone's double just inside the left field line. Reed then singled past a diving Geoff Blum at second base, and Boone beat right fielder Brian Giles' throw to the plate.Raul Ibanez tripled to right-center in the fourth and scored on Reed's one-out single, making it 3-0."I'm letting myself see the ball and letting my hands work," Reed said.San Diego starter Tim Stauffer (1-1) was chased in the sixth. Reed doubled with two outs and scored on Wilson Valdez's single.Adrian Beltre and Sexson hit consecutive doubles in the seventh for a 5-0 lead.It was Stauffer's first loss in his third major-league start. He worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. The 21-year-old Stauffer lasted at least six innings in his first two starts after being called up from Triple-A Portland on May 9.Seattle is 11-11 against San Diego in interleague play."We came here expecting a good series and we had our hands full," Roberts said.
Seattle left fielder Randy Winn walked in the fifth. He has reached base in 19 of the last 23 games. ... San Diego catcher Ramon Hernandez was given the day off despite his current 10-game hitting streak. He is 2-for-17 lifetime against Sele. ... Borders made his first start after being acquired from Milwaukee on Thursday. He has played for nine teams in 17 major-league seasons. ... Little League players paraded around the field before the game but got caught in a sudden rainstorm. The roof at Safeco Field was then closed. ... Sele threw a career-best two-hitter for Seattle on July 15, 2001, against Arizona.