The San Diego Padres took to the field for their first spring training game Friday against the Seattle Mariners. For the Mariners, their biggest off-season story was signing “King” Felix Hernandez to a long-term deal. For the Padres? It was mostly negative press concerning PED’s. But the first inning of Friday’s game gave the Padres and their fans something to be excited about for the upcoming season.
With the bases loaded and one runner already across the plate, rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko stood at the plate. He waited for his pitch and drove a fastball from Hector Noesi deep over the left field wall for a grand slam of his first at-bat of the spring. It was one of those shots that the batter knew it was gone as soon as it left the bat. If anyone needed to make a statement this spring, it was Gyorko. Battling for the starting second base spot, Gyorko is a power hitter over everything else. He hit 30 long balls last season in the minors and has already shown why his bat needs to be in the lineup come April.
The Padres went on to score 6 runs in the first inning, chasing Noesi off the mound after just two-thirds of an inning. Noesi threw 42 pitches in the time he was on the mound.
On the Padres side, San Diego native Sean O’Sullivan pitched two scoreless innings and was credited with the win. Right fielder Chris Denorfia went 2-4 and added an RBI.
The Padres seemed in control the entire game and ended up with a 9-3 victory over the Mariners. The two teams will play again today at 12:05 pm ET with newly acquired Tyson Ross set to take the mound for the Padres and Blake Beavan on the hill for the Mariners.