SEATTLE (AP) – The San Diego Padres fell short of history and their first no-hitter – again. What they learned about starter Dinelson Lamet might just make up for it.
Just a month after coming off the injury list from Tommy John surgery, Lamet took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts in a 9-4 victory over the struggling Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
It was Lamet’s first win in nearly two years.
“I’m happy about it,” Lamet said through a translator. “I think it’s not even just (the no-hit effort). I think it was the way I was able to get that win. It makes me proud.”
Omar Narvaez lined a single into right field with one out in the seventh to break up Lamet’s bid. The Padres, who began play in 1969, are still looking for that elusive first no-hitter.
The Mariners, meanwhile, avoided becoming the first club in the majors to be held hitless three times in a season. A pair of Los Angeles Angels pitchers teamed on a no-hitter against Seattle on July 12 and the Houston Astros combined to no-hit the Mariners last Saturday.
Lamet (1-2) gave up two hits in seven shutout innings – at one point retiring 13 straight – for his first win since 2017. Slated to be San Diego’s No. 2 starter last year after a promising rookie season, Lamet hurt his elbow in his final spring training start and then had Tommy John surgery.
The 27-year-old righty came off the injured list and rejoined the Padres last month. He’s been struggling with his command, even into the first three innings of Tuesday’s game when he walked four batters. But after walking Keon Broxton to start the third, he struck out three straight batters to get out of the inning.
Manager Andy Green said he was one pitch away from calling the bullpen three times, but ended up giving Lamet extra time in the seventh when he was creeping up on 100 pitches because of the way he was attacking the Mariners.
“I think he’s trending upwards,” Green said. “The intent on the pitches for the second half of that game was as good as he’s been at any point in time. I thought the fastball had real finish to it. There was real attack to him.”
Rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 20th home run as the Padres sent Seattle to its fifth straight loss. Tatis became just the 10th rookie to hit 20 home runs as a shortstop.
“I think we’ve been spoiled by him,” Green said. “He’s capable of a lot of things. There’s just a few guys in the game who look like they’re going to bunt on one pitch and then the very next pitch hit it out of the ballpark. He’s just capable of some special things on the field.”
While his home run into the second deck was beautiful to watch, he returned in the ninth with an eye-popping sprint from first to third on a wild pitch that really turned heads.
“I told him he should’ve scored on the wild pitch,” Green joked.
Tatis added: “Every single day, if I’m not bringing that, I tell people to get on my ass, give me a wake-up call or something. That should be part of my game every day.”
With a mounting pitch count, Lamet took a 5-0 lead into the seventh and struck out Daniel Vogelbach to begin the inning. After Vogelbach was ejected for arguing, Narvaez lined the first pitch into right field. Kyle Seager followed with a double to the left corner.
Lamet escaped by getting Austin Nola on a popup and fanning Dylan Moore to tie his career strikeout high.
The Mariners rallied for four runs off the bullpen in the eighth inning, spurred by Tim Lopes’ two-run homer, his first major league hit. Lopes entered the lineup for Vogelbach after being recalled from the seven-day concussion list.
“I haven’t hit many home runs in the past so that was definitely special for me,” Lopes said. “I couldn’t have prayed for anything more than that.”
Lopes received an interesting assignment on his first day back from the concussion list. The lifelong infielder was scheduled to shag balls in the outfield during batting practice after the 80-game suspension of Tim Beckham and lingering injuries to Domingo Santana and Mitch Haniger.
“He came into my office today and his eyes got real big,” manager Scott Servais said. “I said, ‘Dude, that’s the way to get in the lineup.'”
Lopes said he was happy to try on an outfielder’s glove.
“It’s something I’m very open to and want to add to my game,” he said. “It’s something they believe I can do, so I’m definitely happy to do that.”
In other moves, the Mariners also reinstated reliever Brandon Brennan (right shoulder strain) from the 10-day injured list and sent reliever Gerson Bautista to Triple-A Tacoma to make room.
Padres: Pitcher Garrett Richards had a setback Monday in his return from 2018 Tommy John surgery. He came out of an appearance at Single-A Lake Elsinore with a tight shoulder. “The trainers tell me to anticipate this as a minor hiccup, that he feels ultimately pretty good today,” manager Andy Green said. . Reliever Jose Castillo (right elbow) completed another positive rehab appearance at Lake Elsinore. “If he continues on this path, his return is close,” Green said.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez will make a rehab start Thursday at Double-A Modesto. He’s scheduled to throw 45 to 50 pitches over three innings in his attempt to return from a right lat strain. . Haniger (testicle surgery) and second baseman Dee Gordon (strained right quad) are increasing their workouts with the team through the weekend and could be sent to rehab assignments next week. . Reliever Connor Sadzeck met with the same doctor who performed his Tommy John surgery and had a nonsurgical procedure on his right elbow in Texas, Servais said. . Third baseman Ryon Healy had hip surgery in Arizona, Servais said, but had no further details.
Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (7-6, 4.23 ERA) looks to improve to 3-0 in three starts against the Mariners.
Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (4-8, 5.49 ERA) will try to stop his three-game losing streak.
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