San Diego rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko blasted a grand slam in the first inning Friday as the Padres jumped all over Mariners starter Hector Noesi and rolled to a 9-3 victory in the annual charity game at Peoria Stadium. The game was the earliest start to Mariners’ exhibition season, in order to make room in the schedule for the World Baseball Classic.
Noesi, who started the 2012 season in the rotation but was subsequently demoted to AAA Tacoma, managed two outs in the Cactus League opener as the Padres raked him for six runs (four earned) on four hits, four walks and an error. Noesi, who went 2-12 with a 5.82 ERA last year, threw 42 pitches before giving way to Oliver Perez.
“We got a lot of guys in there today, and for the most part, they threw the ball well,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. “Hector struggled a little and was up a little bit, but we got a lot of guys in there for the first time.”
Gyorko, competing with Logan Forsythe for a starting job, drove a Noesi fastball over the left-field fence to get the Padres off to a quick start. The 24-year-old banged 30 home runs last year while splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A.
Padres starter Sean O’Sullivan tossed two scoreless innings. The right-hander, a non-roster invitee trying to earn a rotation berth, struck out one and allowed only one base runner on a hit batter while tossing just 26 pitches.
San Diego right fielder Chris Denorfia went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Perez inherited a bases-loaded jam from Noesi, but ended the threat with a ground out and wound up throwing 1.1 innings with no hits and one walk. The rest of the pitchers each threw one inning apiece.
Seattle got on the board in the sixth when Francisco Martinez doubled and scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 6-1 after Wedge replaced all his starters except right fielder Michael Morse.
Morse went 1-for-3, while catcher Jesus Montero was the only other Mariners starter with a hit. He singled and was hit by a pitch in two-at-bats. Casper Wells hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Seattle and San Diego meet Saturday at 12:05 p.m. PT.