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Cashner settles down nicely in Cactus League debut

Padres right-hander retires six in a row after first two Mariners he faces reach base

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: Ian Kennedy gets the start Saturday as the Padres travel to Surprise, Ariz., to face the Royals at 12:05 p.m. PT. Kennedy, who was obtained at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season, can fit anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4 in the rotation. The Padres have worked with Kennedy this spring on creating more of a downhill plane, like he had with the D-backs in 2011, when he won 21 games. Lefty reliever Patrick Schuster, who allowed three runs (one earned) on Thursday, will get another look late in the game. Schuster is trying to win a job in the bullen.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter.
Read More: San Diego Padres, Andrew Cashner