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|7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, April 23, 2019
PETCO Park, San Diego, California Attendance: 25,154
Rookies take mound for Mariners-Padres opener
The Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres had several things in common at the start of the season.
First, the teams share a spring training complex in Peoria, Ariz.
Second, both clubs got off to fast starts.
Third, both teams hit a rather large bump.
The longtime interleague rivals resume their relationship Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game series in San Diego.
The Padres won four of their first five series and were 11-5 before stumbling back to .500 with a six-game losing streak. They snapped the skid Sunday by salvaging the finale of a four-game home series against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Mariners raced out to a sizzling 13-2 mark before dropping six straight. They recovered to win three in a row before dropping the series finale 8-6 to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.
Both teams will return from a day off Monday with a rookie starting pitcher on the mound Tuesday. Padres left-hander Nick Margevicius (1-2, 3.60 ERA) will oppose Mariners right-hander Erik Swanson (0-1, 3.38). Neither pitcher has faced the other team before.
The real matchup likely will be Margevicius against Seattle's sluggers.
Seattle hitters have bashed 56 homers, the most ever after a team's first 25 games of a season. The Mariners have homered in all but one of their games. Entering the Monday night games, Jay Bruce was tied for second in the American League with nine homers.
Margevicius has given up a homer in each of his past three starts -- a pace of one homer every five innings.
Margevicius, 22, who had never pitched a regular-season game above Class-A prior to this season, is not a power pitcher. The key to his success is command and keeping the barrels of bats off the heart of the baseball. In fact, his best fastballs top out at 91-92 mph.
"When he's hitting his spots, Nick is difficult to square up," Padres manager Andy Green said recently of Margevicius. "And he's pretty good at hitting his spots (Margevicius has allowed two walks in 20 innings). But no pitcher is perfect."
Through his first three major league starts, Margevicius was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA. In his most recent outing against the visiting Colorado Rockies on April 16, Margevicius gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk in just four innings. He did have seven strikeouts. He also served up a two-run homer to Nolan Arenado.
Swanson, 25, will be making his third major league appearance and second major league start Tuesday night. He has allowed three runs on five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over eight innings in his first two games.
He took a loss Wednesday in his initial start despite pitching effectively. The Cleveland Indians wound up with a 1-0 victory even though they managed only two hits and one run off Swanson in six innings. Swanson fanned five without issuing a walk.
"Erik Swanson was outstanding," Mariners manager Scott Servais said postgame, according to the Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune. "Really in control from the first batter he faced. Just nice rhythm with all of his pitches. Obviously his fastball has got a little life, a little hop to it. Getting it by some guys.
"But worked in a good changeup, slider. Second time through the order, continued to mix it up. Really a bright spot there."
Margevicius was the Padres' seventh-round pick in the 2017 draft out of Rider University.
Swanson was selected in the eighth round in the 2014 draft by the Texas Rangers out of Iowa Western Community College. He was traded to the New York Yankees in the Carlos Beltran deal 2016 and then to the Mariners last Nov. 19 in the James Paxton deal.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 22, 2019