2/28/2014 6:03 P.M. ET
Franklin homers to keep hitting against familiar Padres
Infielder goes deep in first Cactus League game after debuting vs. San Diego in 2013
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Something about playing the Padres just brings out the best in Mariners infielder Nick Franklin.
Franklin had two hits Friday, including a long home run to right field in the third, as the Mariners knocked off the Padres, 12-1, at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Franklin made his Major League debut last season against the Padres. And in his fourth big league game, also against the Padres, he hit two home runs.
Franklin is competing with incumbent Brad Miller for the Mariners' starting shortstop job, pushed out of the second-base consideration with the signing of free agent Robinson Cano.
San Diego pitcher Andrew Cashner, who is a leading candidate to start Opening Day for the Padres, got off to a rough start, allowing the first two hitters of the game to reach before uncorking a wild pitch. But he certainly recovered well, retiring the next six hitters he faced before ending his day.
"I just think it's I haven't faced hitters in a while and your stuff isn't where it usually is," Cashner said. "But I felt like overall I had a really good outing."
The Padres got a run in the third inning when Ryan Jackson doubled, advanced to second base on a Ramon Ramires wild pitch, then scored on Ramirez's throwing error. Jackson is competing for a backup infield job.
Seattle starter James Paxton tossed two scoreless innings, which rates as significant for a Mariners staff that learned Friday that prospect Taijuan Walker will be shut down for a week with shoulder inflammation. In addition, pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma still hasn't thrown this spring because of a sprained tendon in his finger.
"I'm trying to pick up where I left off last year," said Paxton. "I'm really just focused on executing pitches right now and trying to get everything refined so it's ready for game time when the season rolls around."
Paxton is one of a handful of young Mariners competing for rotation jobs and was outstanding last September when he was promoted.
The Mariners played mostly backups, except for designated hitter Corey Hart, who made his debut after signing as free agent. Hart, who missed all last year after two microfracture knee surgeries, went 1-for-2 with a walk, a single and a run scored.
Xavier Avery came off the bench to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead with an RBI single in the sixth inning. The Mariners scored five runs in the inning, two on a Nate Tenbrink home run, and James Jones added a three-run homer in the eighth.
New Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit made his San Diego debut, tossing a scoreless fifth inning. Benoit, who will earn $15.5 million over the next two seasons, is expected to handle the eighth-inning role.
Up next: Veteran right-hander Scott Baker gets the start as the Mariners face the Angels on Saturday in a 12:05 p.m. PT game at Peoria Stadium. Baker, 32, was 63-48 with a 4.14 ERA for the Twins from 2005-11, but is coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2012 and pitched just three games for the Cubs at the end of last season. He has an excellent chance to make the rotation as a non-roster invitee if he pitches well this spring. Baker is scheduled for two innings, with Bobby LaFromboise, Roenis Elias, Stephen Kohlscheen and James Gillheeney among those to follow.