After 10 starts, the Seattle Mariners may be at a decision point with Brandon Maurer after another outing where the rookie got knocked around.
Add in Michael Morse leaving with a strained right quadriceps and it was a rough Tuesday night for the Mariners.
Maurer gave up nine hits and five earned runs, San Diego’s Edinson Volquez shut down Seattle into the eighth inning and the Padres beat the Mariners 6-1.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge went immediately into a meeting that included general manager Jack Zduriencik after the game, with decisions needed on Maurer’s struggles and Morse’s health.
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Morse is likely to stay in Seattle for treatment with the Mariners and Padres meeting for two more games on Wednesday and Thursday in San Diego.
Seattle has also been without first baseman Justin Smoak, who suffered a strained oblique muscle last weekend.
“Obviously we have to talk about it internally first. We’ll take the time to do that and then go from there,” Wedge said.
Seattle’s bats got very little done against Volquez (4-5) and its lineup lost its most potent punch after Morse had to leave the game in the fifth inning.
Morse was thrown out trying to score from first base on a double by Michael Saunders in the bottom of the fourth. Morse reached third quickly, but as he was waved home by third-base coach Daren Brown, he began grimacing and slowing down. He was thrown out easily and replaced the next inning by Jason Bay.
“I felt a little tight after I touched third coming around the bases,” Morse said. “I don’t know. I think I was just trying to run real hard; too hard for my body.”
Morse getting thrown out at the plate proved to be Seattle’s last scoring chance. Saunders was left stranded at third and Volquez retired the next eight and 12 of 14 batters before leaving with two outs in the eighth inning. The only hit Volquez allowed after Saunders’ double was Kyle Seager’s two-out single in the eighth.
The only time Volquez faced trouble was the second inning when Seattle loaded the bases with no outs. He got Nick Franklin to hit a grounder to first and Kendrys Morales was forced out at home. Jesus Sucre hit a sacrifice fly to score Morse with Seattle’s only run and Volquez got a fly out from Brendan Ryan to end the threat.
Volquez gave up four hits, struck out five and walked three. It was his longest outing of the season.
“I think I’m a little bit different pitcher when my breaking ball is working because I know I can throw my breaking ball for a strike, behind in the count, ahead in the count,” Volquez said.
Maurer gave up at least five earned runs for the fourth time in his 10 starts. Early in the year, Maurer’s problem was getting through the first few innings. Later it became struggles getting out left-handers.
Against the Padres, it was giving up two-out hits. Jedd Gyorko and Alexi Amarista each homered, both with two outs. Gyorko hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning, his sixth homer of the season. Amarista followed with a solo shot an inning later and the Padres knocked out Maurer (2-7) with three runs in the sixth.
“I think I started throwing in a pattern, throwing the same pitches in the same counts. They were sitting on them,” Maurer said. “I think I was trying to get the first pitch a strike with a fastball and go straight to the slider. I guess that’s the pattern I fell into.”
Maurer was done after 5 2-3 innings, but likely should have been out sooner. Seattle got lefty reliever Charlie Furbush up in the bullpen late and Maurer was forced to face Mark Kotsay and Will Venable, both lefties, in the sixth. Kotsay lined a single into left-center to score Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal. Venable nearly cleared the bases with his drive that was caught at the wall by Endy Chavez.
Furbush took over and immediately walked Everth Cabrera. He got pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia to ground weakly to second, but Franklin — making the first start of his career — mishandled the routine ground ball allowing Gyorko to score the third run of the inning.
“Like I’ve said before, when we feel like it gets to the point we have to do something then we’ll do something,” Wedge said. “We will sit down and talk about today and go from there.”
Notes: Padres IF Logan Forsythe, on the 60-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, is expected to begin a rehab stint at Triple-A Tucson later this week. San Diego manager Bud Black said Forsythe would play second base, third base and shortstop. ... Seattle SS Brendan Ryan had his six-game hitting streak snapped. ... The Padres are 7-3 in their past 10 games in Seattle.