SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres are returning to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years after beating the Seattle Mariners 7-4 on Sunday with a three-run rally in the 11th inning that included a go-ahead double by newcomer Mitch Moreland.
The clincher came in the finale of a series that was moved from Seattle because of poor air quality due to wildfires. The Mariners were considered the home team and batted last. After closer Trevor Rosenthal (1-0), another newcomer, struck out Phillip Ervin for the final out, the Padres had a brief but joyous celebration in the infield. Then they gathered near the dugout to get playoff caps and T-shirts.
Although Petco Park was devoid of spectators, a handful of fans watched from a rooftop bar just beyond left-center field, and several others watched from balconies on an office building high above right field.
The loss by Seattle also locked up an American League playoff berth for the New York Yankees.
Each team scored in the 10th inning, and the Padres started the 11th with Manny Machado on second base. Moreland, obtained in a trade with Boston on Aug. 30, lifted an opposite-field fly down the left-field line off Casey Sadler (1-1), and it dropped just in front of Tim Lopes. Machado, who held up halfway to third, hustled around and scored for a 5-4 lead.
The Padres added on with Jurickson Profar’s RBI single and an error by second baseman Dylan Moore.
The Padres most recently reached the playoffs in 2006, when they won the National League West for the second straight season and were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals for the second consecutive year. Two members of that team, closer Trevor Hoffman and catcher Mike Piazza, are now in the Hall of Fame. One of that team’s outfielders, Dave Roberts, is in his fifth season managing the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
San Diego took a 3-1 lead on a 430-foot, three-run homer by Wil Myers, the team’s longest-tenured player, into the shrubs in front of the batter’s eye in straightaway center field.
The Mariners tied it when Moore, who struck out three times against starter Dinelson Lamet, hit a two-run homer to left off Emilio Pagan in the eighth.
Lamet held Seattle to one run and two hits while striking out 10 and walking two in six innings.
Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a go-ahead single in the 10th before J.P. Crawford hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.
The Padres drew three walks in the first four innings from starter Justin Dunn, who hit a batter with a pitch. San Diego stole three bases as well but failed to score.
The Padres finally broke through in the sixth. Eric Hosmer drew a one-out walk, and Moreland hit a ground-rule double with two out before Myers homered on a 2-2 pitch to put the Padres ahead 3-1. It was his 14th home run.
Myers knew it was gone, and center fielder Kyle Lewis retreated to the warning track before turning and watching the ball sail well over his head.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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