SAN DIEGO — Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Shaun Marcum was chilling in the visitor’s clubhouse, his night’s work finished, when he heard on the TV broadcast that Petco Park had been hit by an earthquake.
“First earthquake. That was pretty fun,” Marcum said after the Jays beat the San Diego Padres 6-3 on Monday. “I didn’t feel it until they said something on TV. The TVs were moving a little bit and I started floating back and forth a little bit. That’s always fun.”
Play stopped momentarily in the eighth inning as Petco Park swayed during the magnitude-5.7 quake that was centred about eight kilometres southeast of Ocotillo in Imperial County — about 135 kilometres east of San Diego.
David Eckstein had just grounded out in the bottom of the inning when the stadium began shaking. The next batter, Chase Headley, stayed out of the batter’s box for a few seconds, then stepped in.
The public address announcer asked that everyone remain calm. The crowd cheered.
Most fans felt the quake. The right-field foul pole swayed back and forth, as did TVs in the press box. Some players, such as Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill, said they didn’t feel it. Manager Cito Gaston said he felt the dugout move side-to-side.
“They happen so fast that there’s nothing you can do,” Gaston said.
John Buck homered twice and Hill had three doubles and three RBIs for the Blue Jays, who jumped all over Jon Garland when he started to struggle while pitching on three days’ rest.
Buck hit a two-run shot off Garland in Toronto’s four-run second, and a leadoff drive against Sean Gallagher in the eighth, giving him 11 this season. It was his eighth career multihomer game and third this season.
The Blue Jays had lost six of seven, a span in which they were outscored 41-13.
Hill hit a two-run double with two outs in the second to give the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead against Garland (6-5), who was pitching on short rest after starting the second game of a doubleheader at the New York Mets on Thursday night.
Garland threw 26 pitches in the first inning and 34 in the second. He allowed Lyle Overbay’s single ahead of Buck’s homer to left. He walked Marcum with two outs and allowed DeWayne Wise’s double ahead of Hill’s double to right.
Garland struck out seven and walked four, throwing 114 pitches in five innings. He was angry because he thought he had Marcum struck out on a 2-2 pitch in the second but umpire Larry Vanover called it a ball.
“It’s upsetting. He called that pitch for me, then he didn’t call it,” Garland said. “Just be consistent. Larry Vanover was not consistent tonight.
“I still had a chance to get out of that inning, but I mentally lost it. I was frustrated, upset because I thought I did what I needed to do.”
Marcum (6-3) allowed solo homers by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Adrian Gonzalez among his six hits in seven innings. He yielded three runs, two earned, while improving to 6-1 in eight starts after Blue Jays losses.
Marcum escaped a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the seventh, allowing just one run on a groundout by Tony Gwynn Jr.
“That was our chance,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Bases loaded, no outs, and we only got one run. A big hit, anywhere in there, would have proved to be a different ballgame.”
Hairston homered off the balcony on the third level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner leading off the third, his fourth. Gonzalez hit an opposite-field shot to left leading off the fourth, his 15th.
Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 19 chances.
Hill also had an RBI double in the sixth.
NOTES: Gaston said Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan, who has been sidelined since July 2008 because of shoulder surgery and a subsequent knee injury, heard a pop in his shoulder during a rehab outing on Sunday and was shut down after eight pitches. He had an MRI exam on Monday and the team should know the results on Tuesday. ... San Diego’s Yorvit Torrealba was ejected in the ninth for arguing with umpire Larry Vanover after taking a called third strike. ... Black said SS Everth Cabrera, on the disabled list for the second time this season with a strained right hamstring, is likely to go out on a three-game minor league rehab assignment later this week.