Chris Young spent five years with the San Diego Padres and still considers San Diego home. Any sort of fun he was thinking about in facing his former team was quickly erased Monday morning when news of Tony Gwynn‘s death spread.
“I certainly understand and appreciate his greatness. It’s a sad, sad day for everyone there,” Young said after throwing six shutout innings in the Mariners’ 5-1 victory over the Padres Monday night at Safeco Field.
“I’m sure it was a really tough night for their organization, for their payers, for their coaches,” he added. “So I’m sympathetic to what they’re going through emotionally. I know it can’t be easy coming out on the field. They’re probably a better team than what they’ve showed.”
The Mariners honored “Mr. Padre” with a video tribute and moment of silence before the game. A “19” was painted on the dirt between third base and shortstop — an area Gwynn called the “5.5 hole,” a spot through which many of his 3,141 career hits traveled.
“I thought that the Mariners, obviously were thinking the things that we were thinking,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Even though we’re away from San Diego, I think the Mariners did a good job of putting Tony out there. I thought it was well done.”
Young (6-4) allowed just four singles. He struck out six and walked one.
“He has a similar style that we’ve seen when Chris was a Padre,” Black said. “He is a very unique pitcher, based on his size and his angle. His ability to work the top half of the zone, we really just couldn’t square up on his fastball. When a guy’s been around a while there aren’t a lot of secrets, but he made his pitches.”
Kyle Seager had a green light on a 3-0 pitch in the first inning, belting a fastball from Tyson Ross way out to right.
“When you get the opportunity, you gotta make sure you capitalize and get the ball in the air,” Seager said.
Brad Miller added a solo homer in the second inning, his fifth of the season. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk. Over the last 16 games, he is hitting .260 (13-for-50) with 9 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 home runs and 6 RBI. He began the season hitting .151 (22-for-146) over his first 43 games.
“The last couple weeks at least, I’ve been feeling a lot better,” Miller said. “Obviously, you want to get everything back in one day, but just having better at-bats and being more competitive in there definitely will add up.”