Opening Night at Petco a Spring Training Loss

The San Diego Padres opened PETCO Park on Saturday, allowing the Seattle Mariners the honor of playing the inaugural game, albeit spring training, as the Friars opened Safeco Field. The teams met for the sixth time this spring, the fifth "official" game with the Mariners coming out on top, 7-4.

The first pitch thrown was a strike by David Wells. Ichiro lined out to Sean Burroughs for the first out and Wells took care of the side in order.

Mark Loretta got the first hit for the Padres at Petco. He stretched a single into a double, sliding underneath the tag at second base after slapping a ball to left field. Brian Giles followed with the first home run from a Major Leaguer to put the Padres up 2-0 in the first.

Randy Winn and Bret Boone hit back-to-back jacks in the fourth off Wells to tie the game at two.

With two outs in the fifth, Wells night was over. Jason Szuminski came on with a runner on second to preserve the tie. The first batter he faced singled in the run and Szuminski would walk in a run before getting out of the inning.

In the sixth, Mark Loretta became the first Friar to hit the Western Metal Supply Company with a solo homer. One out later, Ryan Klesko launched a shot to right to tie the game up at four apiece.

Raul Ibanez, 11 for his last 11 entering the game, had the go ahead hit off Trevor Hoffman in the seventh as the Marines cruised to a 7-4 victory. Jay Witasick gave up two runs, one earned in the ninth marking the final score.


In the end, all the hits will be erased and there will be another first night of hits and homers and strikeouts. That comes April 8 when the Padres host the San Francisco Giants in their home opener.

The Padres fielded their opening day lineup on Saturday. They are now 11-19 in spring play.

In the five previous meetings, the visiting team has won each game and Saturday proved no different as the Mariners won in the Padres PETCO debut.

San Diego & Seattle are tied 62-62 in the all-time "official" spring series with two ties in their shared facility. Since this win came at Petco, Seattle is one up for now, 1-0 at Petco.

The Padres and Mariners have hooked up every season since the inception of interleague play in 1997…the Padres are 20-15 vs. the Mariners in the regular season, 4-2 last year.


Gil Meche will oppose Sterling Hitchcock on Sunday.

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