Erasmo Ramirez and the Mariners deserved a better fate Thursday at Petco Park. Unfortunately for them, the Padres didn’t care. San Diego pulled off a 4-1 win and emerged with a 2-2 split as the teams concluded their season series.
Ramirez continued the Mariners’ pitching dominance over the light-hitting Padres with six scoreless innings and two hits allowed. Over the four-game series, Seattle starters pitched 26 innings and allowed two runs, good for a sparkling 0.69 ERA.
But a funny thing happened — manager Lloyd McClendon decided to end Ramirez’s night after those six innings and a total of 70 pitches by pinch-hitting for the right-hander with an eye on building the team’s minuscule 1-0 lead.
The questionable move proved unwise immediately. Not only did pinch-hitter Stefen Romero ground out, the Mariners came up empty in the inning, then watched relievers Dominic Leone and Joe Beimel surrender four runs on four hits and a walk.
It started with Wednesday night’s hero, Tommy Medica, hitting a one-out triple off Leone. Cameron Maybin tied the score with a triple of his own. After Carlos Quentin walked, Chris Denorfia singled home Maybin for the eventual winning run. A subsequent two-RBI single by Everth Cabrera only added to the Mariners’ pain.
For Leone, who took all four runs against his ledger, the outing snapped a streak of 7.2 scoreless innings and hiked his ERA to 2.35 from 1.19.
That left Seattle’s (37-36) offense with two innings to score three runs, a task it could not manage against the second-best bullpen (trailing Washington) in the majors with a 2.60 ERA. Huston Street picked up his 20th save for San Diego (31-42) in as many chances.
Ramirez (1-4, 4.62 ERA) showed much better command and an ability to change speeds by using his change-up and slider more effectively. It helped him limit his walks to two and minimize his pitch count.
Robinson Cano was 3-for-4 and provided the Mariners with their only run on a two-out RBI single in the fifth. They managed five hits against Padres’ starter Jesse Hahn, 24, making his third start of the season.
Hahn (2-1, 2.16 ERA) utilized a 12-6 curve to keep the M’s offense at bay. He pitched seven innings, struck out seven and walked two.
Cano extended his road hitting streak to 20 games . . . RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (stiff neck) will make Friday’s start in Kansas City against the Royals.