SAN DIEGO (AP) — Travis Jankowski homered on Felix Hernandez’s first pitch and rookie Jacob Nix came within two outs of a complete game in his fourth big league start for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 on Tuesday night.
The Padres, who have the worst record in the NL, snapped a five-game losing streak and won for just the second time in seven games.
Nix (2-2) retired Jean Segura to open the ninth before Nelson Cruz homered to center field on Nix’s 79th pitch. It was Cruz’s 32nd. That was it for Nix, who allowed eight hits and no walks. He had no strikeouts. Kirby Yates came on to get the final two outs for his sixth save.
Hernandez (8-12) pitched well but lost his sixth straight decision over eight starts. The former AL Cy Young Award winner, who was demoted to the bullpen earlier this season, struck out a season-high nine and walked only two in seven innings. He allowed only four hits but three of them factored into the scoring.
Jankowski drove Hernandez’s first pitch over the fence in right field, his third homer. Wil Myers doubled off Hernandez with one out in the fourth and scored on Hunter Renfroe’s two-out single to left.
Second baseman Luis Urias, one of baseball’s top prospects, was called up earlier in the day even though Triple-A El Paso has qualified for the Pacific Coast League playoffs and the Padres are on pace to lose 100 games for the first time since 1993.
The 21-year-old second baseman was brilliant in making his first play, diving to his left to field a bouncer by leadoff hitter Mitch Haniger and throwing him out. Urias went 0 for 3 with a walk.
Padres: Manager Andy Green said LHP Clayton Richard will have season-ending surgery on his left knee. He was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday. Richard was 7-11 with a 5.33 ERA.
Mariners: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (1-2, 4.56) is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale.
Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (6-7, 3.74) is scheduled to make his third start against an AL club. He’s 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in interleague starts.