SEATTLE — This is not the home run category the San Diego Padres expected to find themselves leading early in the season.
Thirty-four games played, and after Seattle's long ball display on Tuesday night, no team in baseball has allowed more homers than the Padres.
"Most homers are pitches up over the plate or you're behind in the count and you challenge some hitters with some fastballs," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "I think we've been in too many bad counts and (had) too many fastballs or breaking balls out up over the plate."
Cruz's drive came in the eighth inning off San Diego reliever Frank Garces, who had already given up homers to Zunino and Justin Ruggiano an inning earlier. The six homers were tied for the most ever hit by the Mariners in their park, the last coming in 2004 against Kansas City.
The six homers were the most allowed by the Padres since September 2013 against the Giants. San Diego has now allowed 50 homers this season, one more than Milwaukee for the most in baseball.
"We've given up quite a bit of homers. ... You don't expect that especially with (Andrew Cashner) and Tyson (Ross) and our pitching staff," San Diego starter Ian Kennedy said. "The ship will right itself and even out, I guess. It's too early."
Seattle's homer parade started early. Kyle Seager lined a three-run homer, his fourth of the season, as part of Seattle's four-run first inning against Kennedy (2-2). Logan Morrison hit his fifth homer in the past 10 games with a solo shot off the top of the wall in right-center field in the third inning.
Kennedy lasted just 4 2-3 innings, and allowed two of the six homers. Zunino hit a 439-foot solo shot leading off the sixth inning then added a two-run homer in the seventh.
"Guys aren't intending to do that, they are trying to execute their pitches. Too many pitches not executed," Black said.
Seattle starter James Paxton (1-2) threw six shutout innings for his first victory. Paxton was inconsistent, but limited the Padres to three hits and pitched out of bases loaded situations in the second and fourth innings.
"I was a little bit all over the place and want to clean that up, but felt like the ball was coming out really good," Paxton said.
San Diego left the bases loaded against Paxton in the second and fourth innings. Paxton walked three straight batters in the second all on full counts, before getting Clint Barmes to pop out, also on a 3-2 pitch. Paxton threw 38 pitches in that inning, 30 of them to the final four batters.
Paxton was a bit more efficient in the fourth but was in the same situation, giving up two-out singles to Jedd Gyorko and Will Middlebrooks, and another 3-2 walk to Cory Spangenberg. This time Paxton struck out Barmes looking to end the threat.
Padres: Wil Myers was a late scratch from the lineup after aggravating a sore wrist during batting practice. There was no update after the game. ... RHP Josh Johnson played long toss on Tuesday and will get a throwing schedule finalized in the next few days as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Johnson threw a simulated game recently but as a precaution the Padres slowed his progress. His next step will be another simulated game.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is being shut down from throwing for the next 10-14 days after still having tightness in his strained right lat muscle following a throwing session last week. Iwakuma has been on the disabled list since April 24.
Padres: RHP James Shields (4-0) will try and become the first San Diego pitcher to start a season 5-0 since Justin Germano in 2007. Shields allowed five earned runs in each of his last two starts but came away with victories in both.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (1-3) looks for his first win at home this season. Seattle adjusted its rotation to have Walker throw against the Padres and lined up three left-handers to pitch against Boston in a four-game series this weekend.