SEATTLE — San Diego manager Bud Black went to the mound after James Shields walked the first two batters of the sixth inning with no intention of pulling his starter.
He believed Shields was going to escape the jam and he wanted his pitcher to know, too.
"We're new to each other, we're developing a relationship about how he's feeling, him being honest, trust all that, that pitchers and managers have to have," Black said. "In my mind I was going to leave him in because he was still throwing the ball well."
Shields got out the sixth unscathed and allowed just one run in becoming the first San Diego pitcher since 2007 to start the season 5-0 in the Padres' 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
Will Middlebrooks homered for the first time in nearly a month, while Cory Spangenberg added a sacrifice fly in the third and later scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning. Abraham Almonte also had an RBI single in the seventh as the Padres split the brief two-game series.
Shields (5-0) struggled to get through six innings, but became just the sixth pitcher in Padres' history to win his first five decisions and first since Justin Germano in 2007. Shields gave up his major league-leading 12th homer to Brad Miller in the fifth inning but otherwise kept Seattle off the scoreboard a night after the Mariners hit six homers.
"Honestly I don't care about home runs, I care about wins. As long as my team wins the game," Shields said. "Obviously I've got to try and clean it up but those things are going to happen. I've never been a guy that doesn't give up homers."
The Mariners had runners in scoring position in five of six innings against Shields, but were 0 for 10 in those situations. Shields allowed six hits and struck out nine, throwing a season-high 115 pitches.
"When we got guys on he halted the rally by making some really good pitches," Miller said.
Seattle's best chance at rallying came in the sixth when Shields walked Kyle Seager and Logan Morrison to start the inning. After a brief meeting at the mound, Shields struck out Mike Zunino after he was unable to get a sacrifice bunt down and got slumping Dustin Ackley to ground into a double play.
"That team put together some really good at-bats all day long from the very first at-bat on," Shields said. "It was a grind today, for sure. I got out of some jams and the team did a good job of scoring some runs."
The Mariners finished 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position, the only hit Miller's RBI double in the ninth. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Middlebrooks' solo homer leading off the third inning was his fourth of the season and first since April 19.
Seattle starter Taijuan Walker (1-4) pitched six innings, his second longest start of the season, and only ran into trouble in the third when Middlebrooks went deep. Alexi Amarista followed with a double and scored on Spangenberg's sacrifice fly.
"Will provides what he did tonight, made a couple of nice plays. ... He's got power and we need to see it," Black said.
Padres: Wil Myers returned to San Diego to have his sore left wrist examined by team doctors a day after being a late scratch from the lineup. Black said they hoped to know more on Thursday about Myers' status.
Mariners: CF Austin Jackson was "so-so" in his first day of running after spraining his ankle last week, manager Lloyd McClendon said. Seattle hopes Jackson may be far enough along to go out on a rehab assignment this weekend.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (1-3) has last three decisions, tied for the longest streak of his career. He'll get a chance to stop the skid at home against Washington on Thursday.
Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias (0-1) will start the series opener against Boston on Thursday. Seattle juggled its rotation to have Elias throw against the Red Sox and has three lefties set to face Boston.
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