Richard leads Padres to 9-5 win over Mariners

Associated Press Modified: June 23, 2012 at 1:31 am •  Published: June 23, 2012

SAN DIEGO (AP) — It was like American Legion ball back in Indiana for San Diego Padres pitcher Clayton Richard.

After surviving three tough innings, Richard not only settled down on the mound but drove in three runs to help the San Diego Padres rally for a 9-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

Richard (5-7) trailed 4-0 in the third inning after allowing two home runs before he got into a groove — on the mound and at the plate.

The left-hander, a native of Indiana and a former quarterback at the University of Michigan, considers himself a good athlete and it showed with a key two-run double in the Padres' five-run fourth inning that put them ahead to stay at 7-4.

"He played a complete baseball game," San Diego manager Bud Black said.

Richard, who came in with just one hit in 25 at-bats, added an RBI single in the fifth.

"The first at-bat, I got a pitch I could handle and got a good swing," Richard said. "I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team."

Perhaps as big of a moment for Richard and the Padres came in the third inning when the Mariners took a 4-0 lead on Justin Smoak's sacrifice fly. Richard issued consecutive walks to load the bases with two outs before he got Dustin Ackley on a groundout.

"That was outstanding, that was huge," said Black, who added Richard probably would have been lifted had he not retired Ackley.

"That was a big moment in the game," Richard said. "To be able to keep the game within striking distance was huge."

After the first three innings, Richard allowed one unearned run as he pitched into the seventh.

Chase Headley drove in three runs, two on sacrifice flies, for San Diego.

Franklin Gutierrez and Miguel Olivo homered for Seattle, which has allowed 39 runs on the first four games of its road trip.

"Our starters have been struggling on the road and it makes it tough," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.

Richard gave up five runs — three earned — and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. Richard struck out six and walked three as he won his third straight start, all in interleague play.

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