The Seattle Mariners can hit the ball out of new Safeco Field.
Russ Davis hit the first home run in the Mariners’ $517.6-million ballpark and Alex Rodriguez and Raul Ibanez added homers Saturday as the Mariners defeated the San Diego Padres, 9-1, for their first victory in their new home.
“It can be done,” Davis said. “It was done today.”
The Mariners broke a season-high seven-game losing streak and got their first win in their third game in Safeco Field on a raw, 56-degree day. Because of the threat of rain, the retractable roof was closed for the second game in a row. The roof was open for Thursday night’s opener.
The homer onslaught, which accounted for seven of the Mariners’ runs, helped Freddy Garcia (10-5) become the first American League rookie to win 10 games this season.
Chase Houston, 14, caught Davis’ first homer. He traded the ball back to the Mariners to display in the team’s museum, and received various Mariner souvenirs in exchange.
With the score tied, 1-1, Davis led off the bottom of the fifth inning with his 18th homer of the season, a 366-foot drive over the scoreboard in left field against Woody Williams (4-8).
“The Kingdome obviously was a joke,” Davis said of the team’s former home, where home runs flew out with regularity. “The ball flew out of there because it’s nice and warm inside.
“It’s a little bit cooler out here and it’s a little bit bigger in the gaps and [in] center field. The ball’s going to get out of here, but it’s not going to be like it was over there.”
After a walk to David Bell, Rodriguez hit an opposite-field shot barely over the right-field wall for his 19th homer to make the score 3-1.
Ken Griffey Jr. went two for four with two RBIs.