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Padres rally to beat Mariners 2-1 on Medica's pinch-hit single in 8th

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SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres remembered Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn before Wednesday night's game and then went out and honoured him the best way they could.

Pinch-hitter Tommy Medica singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in their first home game since Gwynn died of cancer Monday.

"It was a little different today," said manager Bud Black, who played with Gwynn for one season at San Diego State. "Even when the game was over. I think everybody handles what has happened with Tony a little bit differently."

Before the game, Mark Martinez, Gwynn's top assistant at San Diego State, threw the ceremonial first pitch to Black.

The Padres players and coaches then gathered around a large No. 19 painted on the grass in right field, which was Gwynn's number and position, and observed a 19-second moment of silence.

"It all sort of hit home and I'm sure that the stadium, not just the 25 players, but all of us here in the stadium, have come across Tony," Black said.

Starters Felix Hernandez and Andrew Cashner pitched well but didn't get a decision. Hernandez struck out 10 and allowed only three singles in seven innings, with no walks. But he allowed the Padres to tie it at 1 on a wild pitch with two outs in the sixth.

Everth Cabrera started the winning rally by beating out an infield single on a chopper against Charlie Furbush (0-4). Cabrera was sacrificed over by Alexi Amarista and scored on Medica's liner to centre. James Jones' throw home was late and off line.

It was Medica's second game-winning hit of the season.

Medica had met Gwynn a few times, and had played against San Diego State while at Santa Clara.

The Padres lost their first two games after Gwynn died, at Seattle.

"You could see it on the road, even in Seattle, I mean, there were Tony Gwynn jerseys all over the place," Medica said. "You could see how much he meant to baseball, let alone the San Diego Padres organization. You could see it again tonight, and all the great things he's done for this team and for baseball. I'm sure he was smiling down after that win."

It was the most runs the Padres have scored in four games. They had lost three straight, including two in Seattle.

Joaquin Benoit (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth. Huston Street worked the ninth for his 19th save in as many chances.

Hernandez allowed a leadoff single to Seth Smith in the first and then retired the next 15 batters until Amarista beat out an infield single. Cashner sacrificed Amarista, who took third on Smith's groundout and scored on Hernandez's wild pitch to tie the game at 1.

"It was a changeup and I threw it too hard," Hernandez said. "That was a tough loss for us. I missed a lot of pitches."

Said manager Lloyd McClendon: "It was a tough game for the Seattle Mariners, not just Felix. Those things happen. They had their best guy on the mound and we had our best guy on the mound. It was one of those games where we knew it was going to be close."

Cashner allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, struck out two and walked two.

The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the second when Mike Zunino was hit by a pitch, took third on Dustin Ackley's single and scored on Brad Miller's single.

NOTES: The Padres are wearing a patch with No. 19 inside a home plate logo on their jerseys, over the players' hearts. They're wearing a JC star patch to honour Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who died Jan. 5 at 89. ... The Padres have scheduled a public tribute to Gwynn for June 26 at Petco Park starting at 7:19 p.m., symbolic because Gwynn made his Padres debut on July 19, 1982. ... Seattle DH Corey Hart (strained left hamstring) and OF Michael Saunders (right AC joint inflammation) are expected to come off the DL on Friday. ... Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko, who has plantar fasciitis in his left foot, is out of a boot and cast but apparently is a ways away from returning. "It's been better," Gyorko said of the injury. ... The Padres plan to place 1B Yonder Alonso (sore right wrist) on the DL and bring up Jake Goebbert. ... The series concludes Thursday afternoon when Seattle RHP Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 5.27) is scheduled to oppose RHP Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.72).

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