<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Padres]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/feature/san-diego-padres http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:19:54 -0700 Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:19:54 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Padres Win Another One At Home]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:12:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/166*120/455684350.jpg

The beginning of A Tale Of Two Cities is not exact, but the idea is a pretty good way to think about the Padres right now.

At Petco Park, they have been borderline unbeatable (the best of times). On the road, however, they couldn't even win an argument (the worst of times).

Behind home runs from Alexi Amarista and Will Venable, a balanced offensive attack that saw all eight starting position players get at least one hit, and a fantastic return to the mound by lefty Robbie Erlin (6.0 innings, five hits, one run), the Padres beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 to win three of the four games in the series.

That means, since the All-Star Break, the Padres have gone 7-0-1 in series played at Petco Park. Here's the problem. In series played away from the East Village (and there have been 11 of them) the Padres are 2-8-1.

Now, I'm not sure what causes that kind of split personality, but if the Padres can figure out a way to convince themselves they're in San Diego when they're really in another city, they might end up winning 120 games next year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hamels Handles Padres]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/usa-cole-hamels-phillies-nationals.jpg

San Diego native Cole Hamels apparently likes pitching against the Padres. The Rancho Bernardo High alum has won his last six starts against the Friars and is 5-1 lifetime at Petco Park. On Wednesday night Hamels (9-7) threw seven innings and struck out nine as the Phillies beat the Padres 5-2.

The Padres got out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Cameron Maybin. That lead didn't last long. The Phillies responded in the top of the fifth with four runs on five hits. Padres starter Eric Stults (7-17) left in the fifth after all four runs scored.

The final game of the series is Thursday night at 6:10 p.m.

Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Amarista Lifts Padres]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:48:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+77+7.jpg

The Padres scored two runs in the first inning, then added three more in the sixth and held on for a 5-4 win over the Phillies 5-4 on Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Alexi Amraista was a triple short of the cycle. He doubled in the second, singled in the fourth, then hit a go-ahead two run homer in the sixth inning. Amarista's chance to be the first Padre ever to hit for the cycle ended when he grounded out to shortstop in the bottom of the eighth.

Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy threw six innings to get his 11th win of the season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tony Gwynn Remembered in San Diego]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:27:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gwynn-Fans-4.jpg Legendary San Diego Padres baseball player Tony Gwynn was honored by fans after he died Monday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Season in Images]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:30:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+85+8.jpg Relive all the great moments from the San Diego Padres' 2014 season in photos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cashner Dominates Phils]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:53:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

Early on it was evident both starting pitchers brought their A-game to Petco Park on Monday night. As the strikeouts, ground outs and double plays mounted the game whizzed by at a breakneck pace. Two hours and eight minutes after the first pitch the contest was over. The Padres beat the Phillies 1-0 to open their final homestand of the season.

Cashner (4-7) struck out seven and allowed just two-hits in his second complete game shutout of the season. Phillies starter Jerome Williams (3-2) pitched into the eighth. His line was impressive as well. Williams struck out six, giving up just three hits, but in the end was the hard luck loser.

The Padres only run came in the second inning. Cashner was safe at first on an error by third baseman Cody Asche which allowed Rene Rivera to score.

Cashner's no-hit bid ended in the fifth. With a shift on, Dominic Brown laid a clean bunt single down the third base line.

Game two of the four-game series is Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Lose in Arizona]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:15:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+77+2.jpg

A five run 5th inning by the Diamondbacks was the difference in their 8-6 win over the Padres at Chase Field on Sunday.

Odrisamer Despaigne (3-7) took the loss for the Padres. He gave up five runs before leaving in the sixth inning. Reliever Nick Vincent struggled in the eighth inning. He lasted just one-third of an inning, giving up three runs before his departure.

The Padres scored two runs in the top of the ninth, but got no closer.

The Friars return to San Diego for their final homestand. It begins with a game against the Rockies on Monday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Cash In Against Dodgers]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:50:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

He did it on the mound. He did it with the bat. Padres starter Andrew Cashner (3-7) gave up two runs over seven innings to get his first win since April 16th. Cashner also drove in a pair of runs in the Padres 6-3 win Tuesday night over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

The Padres got to Dodgers starter Roberto Hernandez (8-11) early. Cashner's 2-RBI double in the second started the scoring. He came across on a Cory Spangenberg single to make it 3-0 Padres.

Jedd Gyorko drove in a pair in the third on his tenth home run for the year. Hernandez was pulled after the inning.

With the win the Padres broke a six-game losing streak. The rubber game of the series is Wednesday evening and the last match-up of the year between the two. Ian Kennedy takes the hill for the Padres against Dan Haren.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw, Dodgers top Padres]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 23:55:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/clayton+kershaw+padres.jpg

The Padres scored three runs off of Clayton Kershaw but that wasn't enough. The Dodgers pushed nine across and beat the Friars 9-4 on Monday night at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw struck out eight over eight innings and improved his record to a MLB-best 18-3. Only one of the three runs scored against him was earned. Odrisamer Despaigne took the loss for the Padres. He's now 3-6 on the year.

The Padres have now lost six in a row. The Dodgers have won four straight and at 20-games over .500 lead the NL West by three and a half games over the Giants.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2015 Padres Schedule Released]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:46:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/454359850.jpg

The 2014 Padres season is a lost cause, but it's never too early to start looking ahead to 2015!

MLB teams released their schedules for next year on Monday. The Padres open things up in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Monday, April 6.

The home opener is later that week, on Thursday, April 9 against the San Francisco Giants. The entire schedule can be seen below.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Edged Again In Colorado]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 00:06:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/454827484.jpg

Saturday night in Coors Field, Padres RHP Joe Wieland made his first Big League start since May of 2012 after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Coors Field is not the place you want to make a triumphant return.

Wieland only lasted 2.1 innings, giving up two home runs (one a monster 2-run shot by Justin Morneau) and four runs on seven hits in Colorado's 7-6 win. The Rockies built a 6-2 lead, but Wieland was not saddled with a loss because the Padres offense actually woke up.

After going scoreless in their first 13 innings in Colorado (and scoring seven runs in their previous six games combined), the Padres bats finally remembered to make contact with the ball. Tommy Medica hit a solo home run and Cory Spangenberg smacked a 2-run blast to the opposite field as part of the comeback.

Spangenberg also hit a pinch-hit dinger Tuesday night at Petco Park to beat the Diamondbacks. He now has two home runs in 13 at-bats, giving him one more long ball than CF Cameron Maybin has in 202 at-bats.

A Seth Smith RBI single tied the game 6-6 in the 8th, ushering in extra innings.

The game finally ended in the 12th when Drew Stubbs singled home D.J. LeMahieu with the winning run. The Rockies go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Punchless In Colorado]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 23:44:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/454737694.jpg

It doesn't matter if the Padres are playing in Coors Field, the greatest run scoring mecca on the planet. It probably would not matter if they were playing in a ballpark on the moon. If Eric Stults is starting for them, San Diego's offense is probably not going to score any runs.

The Friars fell to the Rockies 3-0 Friday night in Denver. Stults, despite allowing just three runs in 6.1 innings (a very good effort in that yard), took the loss because his hitters could not muster more than three hits off rookie lefty Tyler Matzek.

Matzek's 3-hit shutout was nothing short of masterful in the mile-high air. In fact, it's only the eighth time in the Rockies' 22-year history one of their starters has allowed 3 or fewer hits in a complete game effort.

Stults has now started 28 games this season. The Padres have scored zero or one run for him 15 times. To quote Austin Powers:

"Ouch, baby. Very ouch."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spangenberg Walkoff Wins it]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:20:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*240/padres+pics+85+9.jpg

It has been quite a debut for Padres rookie Cory Spangenberg. On Monday he made two fine defensive plays and drove in the go-ahead runs against the Diamondbacks. On Tuesday he delivered a walkoff win for the Padres.

With nobody on and one out Spangenberg came up to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth. He liked the first pitch he saw from Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler and promptly deposited it in the right field bleachers for a 2-1 Padres win.

Lost in the excitement was the job Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne did on the hill. Although he failed to get the decision Despaigne went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits.

Game three of the series is Wednesday night at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spangenberg Delivers in Debut]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:30:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bud-Black-Padres-168567365.jpg

Cory Spangenberg did it with his glove and bat in the Padres 3-1 win over the visiting Diamondbacks. He made two fine defensive plays and drove in two runs in his first major league game.

Friars starter Tyson Ross delivered another fine performance on the mound. He went six innings, allowing just one run on six hits.

Up 1-0 in the fifth Spangenberg singled to left scoring a pair. That 3-0 lead was more than enough for Ross, who pitched his 14th quality start in a row.

Game two of the four game series is Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hard Luck Loser]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:50:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+77+11.jpg

When starter Eric Stults (6-15) left the game Sunday afternoon at Petco the Padres trailed 2-1. It was another quality start , but the result was another loss...his 15th of the season. The Dodgers piled on four runs in the eighth and beat the Padres 7-1 to avoid the sweep.

Despite his poor record, Manager Bud Black was quick to praise his hard luck lefty, "Really he deserved a better fate, six innings, two runs, I'll take that every time." In the month of August Stults' ERA is a very respectable 2.43. He gave up two or less earned runs in four of his six August starts, yet only managed a 3-3 record.

Even with Sunday's loss the Padres have still managed to win their last six series at Petco Park and finished the month with a 16-11 record. The Friars start a four game series with the Diamondbacks Monday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[It's Trevor's Time: Hoffman Joins Padres Hall of Fame]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:55:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hoffmanp9.jpg

Retired San Diego Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman closed a major milestone on Saturday: the ball player was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame.

The iconic closer, No. 51, was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame prior to the evening Padres game against the L.A. Dodgers at Petco Park.

One could say it was definitely Trevor's Time.

Fans will forever remember the excitement of Hoffman being summoned to the pitcher's mound to close a Padres game. His signature song, which always got fans on their feet, was AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” and his appearance on the diamond was referred to as "Trevor Time."

Hoffman, the Padres all-time saves leader, retired in January 2011, following a career that spanned 18 seasons, including 16 years with San Diego.

Over his 16 seasons with the Padres, Hoffman built a 54-64 record with 552 saves in 618 opportunities. His save percentage was .893. Hoffman also had a 2.76 ERA, .211 opponent batting average and 1,029 strikeouts in 902 relief appearances.

According to the team, Hoffman was elected unanimously into the Padres Hall of Fame by the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame committee.

He’s the ninth person inducted into the elite group, joining baseball icons Buzzie Bavasi, Nate Colbert, Jerry Coleman, Randy Jones, Ray Kroc, Dick Williams, Dave Winfield and, of course, the late and beloved “Mr. Padre,” Tony Gwynn.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Walk Off With A Win]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:50:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/454359850.jpg

The Padres got 35 outs on Friday night at Petco Park. In those 35 outs, they did not have a single extra-base hit against the Dodgers.

Turns out, it was singles night in the East Village, and that was just fine.

Yasmani Grandal's 12th inning, bases loaded, 2 out single off former Padre Kevin Correia drove in Yangervis Solarte with the game-winning run.

When you play as many close games as the Padres do, you're going to win a lot of games in your last at-bat Since 2005, the Padres have 86 walk-off wins, the most in baseball over that time (one more than the Cincinnati Reds).

Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner, making his second start since coming off the disabled list, struck out eight Dodgers hitters and allowed one run in 6.0 innings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rivera's Walk-Off Beats Brewers ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:30:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/despaigne+mets+preview.jpg

Trailing the Brewers 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th inning it didn't look good for the Padres. But their fortunes changed with one swing of the bat. Francisco Rodriguez threw a fastball over the plate and Rivera deposited it into the left field bleachers at Petco Park. The lead-off homer, Rivera's th of the season, tied the game.

An inning later it was Rivera again to the rescue. His two out single in the 10th won it for the Padres 3-2. Starter Odrisamer Despaigne pitched well for the Friars. He went seven innings, allowed just one earned run and struck out nine.

The Padres are off on Thursday. They host the Dodgers in a weekend series beginning Friday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ross Leads Padres Past Brewers]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:55:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tyson+ross+reds+start.jpg

Padres ace Tyson Ross provided the pitching. Outfielder Abraham Almonte provided the offense. The result was a 4-1 Padres win Tuesday night at Petco Park to even the series with Milwaukee at a game apiece.

Ross (12-12) pitched into the seventh inning and allowed just one run and four hits. It was Ross' 13th quality start in a row, extending his Padres record. Almonte homered in the first, had a pair of RBI's and scored twice.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brewers Blast Padres]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:50:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*195/173196464.jpg

So much for a happy homecoming. The Padres, just back from a 10-game road trip, fell to the Brewers 10-1.

Starter Eric Stults (6-14) lasted five innings. He was charged with four runs and nine hits in his first August loss. The Brewers collected 16 hits and had a runner reach base in every inning except the sixth.

With the loss the Padres dropped 10-games below .500.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[This One's for You, Bud]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 23:15:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*240/padres+pics+85+9.jpg

Yasmani Grandal and Will Venable provided the power and Ian Kennedy pitched well enough to get his win against his former team. The Padres 7-4 victory in Arizona was manager Bud Black's 600th career win. He's the second Padre skipper to surpass the 600 mark. He's still 351 behind Bruce Bochy, who managed the Friars from 1995-2006.

Kennedy (10-11) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts. Grandal's blast in the fifth gave the Padres a three run lead. His homer measured 419 feet. Grandal's 4-RBI's were a career high. Venable's eight inning home run cleared the pool past the center field fence.

The Padres ended the ten game road trip with a 3-7 record. They host Milwaukee at Petco Park on Monday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Burned In The Desert]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 23:02:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/453988684.jpg

The Padres opened a 3-game series in Arizona against a Diamondbacks team that had lost six straight games and is transitioning to give young prospects a chance to play because it's so far out of playoff contention.

So, advantage San Diego right?

Not exactly. The Padres could play the Bad News Bears and, if the game was held at Chase Field, probably lose.

Since the stadium opened in 1998, the Padres are 50-93 at the Downtown Phoenix facility. That includes Friday night's 5-1 loss to that D-Backs team that was on a 6-game losing skid.

Starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne gave up four runs in the first two innings, continuing a trend of early struggles, to take the loss. Arizona starter Josh Collmenter struck out eight in 8.1 innings for his 9th win of the year.

On Saturday, Andrew Cashner comes off the disabled list to get the start for the Padres.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ross Outdueled by Kershaw as Dodgers Take Series]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:45:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+dodgers+ross+kershaw.jpg

For seven innings, Tyson Ross matched Dodgers ace an Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw pitch for pitch on Thursday night.

He allowed just two hits, striking out six while shutting out the Los Angeles lineup.

That all disappeared with just two swings of the bat. A Carl Crawford leadoff single in the eighth was followed by a Justin Turner homer to left field and suddenly the host Dodgers had a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Ross finished with eight Ks against just two walks, but it wasn’t enough to top Kershaw’s eight innings of three-hit ball, punctuated by 10 strikeouts of his own. Kershaw didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning – coincidentally off the bat of Ross.

The lone Padres run came on a Rene Rivera single in the seventh that scored Abraham Almonte.

The loss is a bitter pill as the Padres drop the series despite pounding out 25 hits in the previous two games. It drops them 11 ½ games behind the first-place Dodgers and eight games out of the wild card race.

They head to Arizona for a three-game series with the Diamondbacks this weekend.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stults Stifles Dodgers]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:50:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+618+6.jpg

Padres starter Eric Stults is pitching well of late. He got the win Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine and is 3-0 in the month of August. Stults (6-13) scattered four hits over five innings and gave up just one run in the Padres 4-1 victory.

The Padres got all the offense they would need in the second inning. They parlayed three hits into three runs. Alexi Amarista and Stults both had RBI singles.

Kevin Quackenbush pitched the ninth to get his first major league save.

The series winds up Thursday with Tyson Ross taking the hill for the Padres. He'll face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Fall to Dodgers 8-6]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:50:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_yasiel_puig_responde_polemica_cuba_mexico_los_zetas_dodgers_los_angeles.jpg

Padres starter Ian Kennedy wasn't sharp. He gave up six runs on seven hits and only lasted five innings. Kennedy (9-11) threw 97-pitches in the Padres 8-6 loss.

The Padres defense was not crisp either. Seth Smith and Abraham Almonte could not flag down catchable balls in the outfield. First baseman Jake Goebbert and third baseman Yangervis Solarte each had a throwing error.

Jedd Gyorko got the Friars off to a quick start. His first inning homer staked the Padres to a 3-0 lead. That lead was gone by the fourth inning when the Dodgers took the lead for good, scoring three runs on a couple of hits and a critical Goebbert error.

Game two of the series is set for Wednesday evening at Chavez Ravine.

<![CDATA[Cardinals Beat Padres Again]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 22:45:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/yasmani+grandal+cubs+preview.jpg

Padres starter Tyson Ross got in trouble early. After giving up a pair of first inning runs the Padres ace settled in, but the damage was done. Ross (11-11) went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits.

Lance Lynn (13-8) pitched well for the Cardinals. Like Ross, he went six innings to collect his 13th win of the season.

Yasmani Grandal hit a home run in the ninth inning, his tenth of the season.

The Padres lost 4-2. After winning five straight the Friars have dropped their last two.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Roll Rockies Again]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:05:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+77+2.jpg

The Padres got a little bit of everything in their 4-1 victory over the Rockies Tuesday night at Petco Park. Starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne (3-3) threw seven shutout innings and struck out a career high eight in notching his third win of the season.

Up 2-0 in the eighth the Padres got a pair of defensive gems from their corner infielders on consecutive at-bats. Third baseman Chris Nelson went into the stands to catch a foul pop-up off the bat of Charlie Blackmon. First baseman Tommy Medica did the same to retire Josh Rutledge.

Nelson drove in two with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. The Rockies lone run came on a Corey Dickerson home run in the top of the ninth off of reliever Dale Thayer.

The Padres have now won four in a row. They're 8-1 in the month of August and are a National League best 15-8 since the All-Star break.

The Padres go for the series sweep Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Stay Hot At Home]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:05:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/453503864.jpg

Since the All-Star break, the Padres have gone 14-8. That's the best record in the National League.

Now, if they could just figure out how to do that in April, we'll really be rolling!

Monday night at Petco Park, the Padres beat the Rockies 4-3 on some timely hitting (something they haven't gotten a whole lot of in 2014) and amazing bullpen work (something they've gotten since about 2004).

Yangervis Solarte hit a 2-run home run in the 8th inning to put the Friars up 4-3. It was Solarte's third homer as a Padre, and easily the biggest. Yonder Alonso also went deep, a solo shot that gave San Diego a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning.

But it was that dominant bullpen that held things together. Rookie starting pitcher Jesse Hahn have up three runs in 5-plus innings, all of them on one swing of the bat by Corey Dickerson, who hit a 3-run home run in the 6th to put Colorado up 3-1 and knocked Hahn out.

But that was the worst thing that could have happened to the Rockies. Nick Vincent threw the next 2.0 innings, striking out three.

Kevin Quackenbush whiffed the side in the 8th, and Joaquin Benoit did the same in the 9th to preserve the win. Vincent, Quackenbush and Benoit combined to punch out nine of the 12 batters they faced, including the final seven in a row.

Just another day at the office for the best bullpen in baseball, which now resides with the hottest team on the Senior Circuit.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres, Rockies Headed in Opposite Directions]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 09:25:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/rockies+preview+810.jpg

If there was ever a time to play the Colorado Rockies, this is it.

The Padres' opponent this week at Petco Park has the worst record in baseball, is missing superstars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez and will start two rookies in the series.

They have also lost eight of 10 and are the worst road team in the league (18-41).

Meanwhile, the Friars stay hot with wins in six of their last eight games. They have lost just one series since the All-Star break and have the fourth-most runs in the National League during that time. Of course, they still have the worst overall batting average in the league and are last in baseball in runs scored by a wide margin on the season.

But we’re not here to talk about the past. It’s time to look to the future, a glimpse of which arrives this week as outfield prospect Rhymer Liriano is expected to join the team.

The 23-year-old hit .292 with 14 homers and 20 stolen bases in the minors this year, spending time with both Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso. He’s considered the No. 6 prospect in the Padres system.

An otherwise dreary season is starting to look up. This is a good reminder that things could be worse for the Padres: They could be the Rockies.

Here’s how the series stacks up.

Monday, 7:10 p.m.:
Jesse Hahn (R, 7-3, 2.28) vs. Jordan Lyles (6-1, 3.72)
Tuesday’s loss to the Twins (5 2/3 IP, 3 ER) snapped Hahn’s streak of three straight starts allowing just one run. Lyles made his first start in two months last week after breaking his hand, beating the Cubs.

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: Odrisamer Despaigne (R, 2-3, 3.10) vs. Yohan Flande (L, 0-4, 5.77)
Despaigne has seen his ERA rise more than 2 points (0.92 to 3.10) in his three-game losing streak. The rookie Flande is still looking for his first big-league win in six starts.

Wednesday, 3:40 p.m.: Ian Kennedy (R, 8-10, 3.51) vs. Matzek (R, 2-7, 5.32)
In his start against the Rockies last month, Kennedy allowed just one run and struck out nine in the win. He has two straights starts allowing just one run. Matzek, another rookies, has just one win in his last 10 starts.

Who to watch:
Hot-hitting Tommy Medica should be back in the lineup after getting hit in the head on Saturday. He is hitting .396 since the All-Star break. Outfielder Seth Smith was the hero on Sunday, putting the Pirates away with a three-run triple in the fifth inning. He has six RBIs in his last three games. First baseman Yonder Alonso is 10 for his last 20 with three doubles. Shortstop Everth Cabrera may miss some time with a hamstring injury.

Rockies: With Tulo and CarGo out, it’s hard to find a recognizable name in this lineup. Outfielder Corey Dickerson has impressed with 14 homers, 46 RBIs and a .319 average. He also has a five-game hitting streak. Third baseman Nolan Arenado has five long balls and 16 RBIs since the All-Star break.

Coming up: This is your last chance to see the Friars at home for a while, as they embark on a 10-game road trip starting Thursday. It includes trips to St. Louis, Los Angeles and Arizona.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Use The Pirates Plan Against Them]]> Sat, 09 Aug 2014 23:38:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/169*120/453407778.jpg

On Friday night in Pittsburgh the Padres scored one run in the first inning, the Pirates scored two runs in the first inning, and that was it for the night's scoring.

So, the Friars thought they'd try that course of action for themselves on Saturday night. The Padres scored twice in the first, the Bucs got one in the first, and that was it for the night's scoring.

Second baseman Jedd Gyorko lined a bases loaded single to center to score Everth Cabrera and Yasmani Grandal hit a sacrifice fly to account for San Diego's other run.

Eric Stults made it stand up with his second straight fantastic start. After giving up a run on a Russell Martin single, Stults buckled down and threw 6.1 innings, striking out six and earning his fifth win of the season.

He had help from that tremendous Padres bullpen, too.

Alex Torres, Nick Vincent, Kevin Quackenbush and Joaquin Benoit followed Stults to keep the 1-run margin intact. Benita got his 5th save of the season, but Quackenbush showed some guts in the 8th inning.

Jody Mercer and Martin (who had two hits) led off the inning with hits, putting runners at second and third with nobody out. Quackenbush got the next three hitters, Ike Davis, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, with no damage being done.

The Padres can win the series from the Pirates, who entered the weekend with the best home record in the National League, on Sunday behind All-Star Tyson Ross.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Offense Stifled In Pittsburgh]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 23:44:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/169*120/453354642.jpg

Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy has allowed three runs or less in 16 starts this season. He's only won eight of those games.

Kennedy didn't get enough run support again on Friday night in Pittsburgh. Kennedy allowed two runs in 6.0 innings, but his offense only provided one run against underrated Pirates starter Vance Worley. The Pirates won 2-1.

San Diego's only run came in the first inning. Everth Cabrera led off with a double and later scored on a Seth Smith sacrifice fly.

The Pirates got their runs in the bottom of the first. Gregory Polanco singled in Josh Harrison, then came home on an Ike Davis sacrifice fly.

After that, goose eggs for everyone. Worley struck out seven Padres in 7.0 innings.

Saturday a pair of lefties, Eric Stults and Francisco Liriano, meet on the mound.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rested Padres Face Equally Hot Pirates]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:05:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/alonso+pirates+preview.jpg

Not that you ever turn down a day off at this point in the season, but the Padres have to be looking to get back on the field before they cool down.

The hottest team in baseball got a rare two off days this week and is now well rested heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates this weekend.

After splitting a two-game series with the Minnesota Twins, the Friars have won six of their last eight and still only have one series loss since the All-Star break. They lead the league in hitting and are third in the National League in runs scored during that time with 84. Of course, the team in the other dugout is first in that category with 94.

The Pirates are almost as hot, winning four of six and seven of their last 11.

Could we see a slugfest this weekend at PNC Park? Well, let’s not get carried away.

Friday, 4:05 p.m.:
Ian Kennedy (R, 8-9, 3.59) vs. Vance Worley (R, 4-1, 2.43)
The winner of three straight decisions, Kennedy also beat the Pirates back in June. Worley has allowed just two earned runs in his last three starts.

Saturday, 4:05 p.m.: Eric Stults (L, 4-13, 4.94) vs. Nelson Liriano (L, 3-7, 3.91)
Well, it’s nice to see a Padres player atop the stat list, even if it is Stults leading the league in losses. He’s coming off 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his last start, a win over the Braves. After going more than two months without making it through six innings, Liriano now has three straight quality starts.

Sunday, 10:05 a.m.: Tyson Ross (R, 10-10, 2.62) vs. Charlie Morton (R, 5-10, 3.43)
The streak of two or less earned runs is up to nine starts for Ross. Is there a better .500 pitcher in the league? No, there is not. Morton has just one decision (a loss) in the last month.

What’s at stake: After literally decades of meaningless baseball in Pittsburgh, the Pirates find themselves in the playoff hunt for the second straight year. They trail the Milwaukee Brewers by a game and a half for the NL Central lead and are just a half-game out of the wild card. In fact, the Central could get three playoff teams if the Cardinals hold on and the Bucs beat out San Francisco.
They are separated from the Padres by 8 ½ games and four teams in the wild card race. Seems like a whole other world.

The Pirates took two out of three at Petco in June. This is the last time the teams wills see each other this season.

Who to watch:
It’s almost harder to find a player in this lineup who is not hot. First baseman Yonder Alsonso had six hits and a homer against the Twins and is hitting .429 over his last 10 games. Outfielder Tommy Medica is staying hot after his five-hit, two-homer performance last week. He has 10 hits in his last five games. Shortstop Everth Cabrera is breaking out of a months-long slump with nine hits and 4 RBIs in his last five. And we obviously have to mention Seth Smith, who leads the team in just about everything, including average (.290), homers (12) and RBIs (34). He also has a four-game hitting streak.

Pirates: First off, who we won’t see is reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen, who might be facing a trip to the disabled list after breaking a rib. We will see Josh Harrison, who has been mauling the ball over an 11-game hit streak. He has five home runs and 21 hits over that stretch. Catcher Russell Martin is working on a six-game streak of his own and has seven RBIs in that time.

Coming up: The Friars head home to face the Colorado Rockies next week before embarking on a 10-game road trip that includes the Cardinals, Dodgers and Diamondbacks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Smith Delivers in Tenth]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:35:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/z+pads+celebrate+1.jpg

The Padres flashed the leather and delivered with the bat at just the right times Wednesday in Minnesota to split the two game series against the Twins with a 5-4 win.

The Twins were in good shape to push across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Tied up, with two on and two outs Eduardo Escobar belted a drive to center field. Alexi Amarista barely flagged it down, hitting the turf with the ball firmly in his glove. The inning was over with the game still tied.

The Padres didn't waste any time getting the lead in extra innings. Their first batter, Seth Smith, hit a home run to right to break the tie. It was Smith's 12th of the year.

The Padres held on in the bottom of the 10th to secure the win. They are off on Thursday and conclude the road trip with a weekend series in Pittsburgh.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[7 Things to Know About New Padres GM]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 17:52:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/preller+1.jpg

New Padres General Manager A.J. Preller is an enigma wrapped in a riddle cloaked in a rather loud sports jacket. He is an international scout of mystery, if you will.

The team announced the hiring of Preller, 36, today, a man who has been described as “eccentric,” “in the shadows” and a “baseball rat.” (That’s a good thing in baseball terms, by the way.)

Here is a little bit of what we know so far about the man called to lead the Padres into the future:

  • Preller grew up on Long Island as a Yankees fan. He is also close to his family, thanking them for all their help during his first Padres press conference on Wednesday. "I wanted to thank my parents back in New York," he said. "They were unelievably supportive."
  • He graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1995, where he played three varsity sports. He was named to the Principal’s List and National Honor Society and is now a member of the South Huntington Schools Hall of Fame.
  • At Cornell, he was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity (not to be confused with the Delta Tau Chi from the movie “Animal House”) with current Texas Rangers president and general manager Jon Daniels. They lived together for three years.
  • Preller took his first baseball job as an intern with the Philadelphia Phillies in which he earned college credits. After graduation, he took an unpaid position with Arizona Fall League, where he worked under baseball great Frank Robinson. The two then worked together in the Major League Baseball office before Preller took a scouting job with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He said he considers Robinson a mentor: "Frank, to myself, is somebody who is very open ... I said, 'If I get a chance to run a department, I want to run it that way."
  • He was originally hired by the Rangers as Director of International and Professional Scouting. His territory included Japan, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and other parts of Latin America. But he seemed to travel anywhere anybody was playing baseball. He said he's "maybe spent 3 million miles on American Airlines" and would take several flights a day to scout different players.
  • Both ESPN and Baseball American have named the Rangers the top farm system in baseball in the past five years. The Rangers won two American League championships during Preller’s tenure, the first time in the team's history that it won a playoff series.
  • He was one of eight candidates originally interviewed by the Padres. They brought in Preller and three other candidates --  Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, MLB senior vice president of baseball operations Kim Ng and Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen. He becomes the Padres’ fourth general manager following the 14-year tenure of Kevin Towers.

Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[A.J. Preller Named New Padres GM]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 17:42:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Preller+jersey.jpg

After a search that lasted six weeks, A.J. Preller was announced as the Padres' new General Manager on Wednesday.

"A.J.'s passion stood out to all of us throughout the process," Padres CEO Mike Dee said in announcing Preller's hiring on Wednesday. "All along, the most important characteristic was who was going to bring the best overall talent to the organization."

He joins a Padres team that has not made the postseason since 2006 and has just one winning season since 2007.

"My mantra is building a championship team from top to bottom," Preller said. "They made it pretty apparent they want to do what it takes for that."

The deal is reportedly for five years, and executive chairman Ron Fowler said negotiations went late into last night.

"Has the deal been finalized?" he jokingly asked.

Preller, 37, has spent the last 10 seasons with the Texas Rangers. He was promoted to Assistant General Manger last November. He also worked in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and spent time working under Hall of Famer Frank Robinson at the Major League Baseball league office.

Preller was in charge of the Rangers' scouting and player development. He played a major role in the team's Dominican Republic development program and has a wealth of experience in International scouting, an area the Padres have been trying to strengthen for years.

The Rangers current active roster features 10 international players from six different countries.

Preller stressed that no decisions had been made about manager Bud Black or any other player personnel.

"I can promise you, we'll have the hungriest group, the hardest working group of employees in the game," he said.

The Padres interviewed eight candidates for the job, inviting four of them (Preller, San Diego native Mike Eppler, Kim Ng and Mike Hazen) back for a second talk.

After the firing of Josh Byrnes on June 22, the Padres allowed then-Assistant General Manager A.J. Hinch to guide them through the trade deadline.

In a hint of what was to come, Hinch resigned his post on Tuesday, saying the Padres are ready for a transition. Vice President/Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel Chad MacDonald also announced he was leaving the team on Wednesday.

Hinch's departure and the arrival of Preller and his staff means Fowler, Dee and the new ownership group will have their own, hand-picked people in the front office to fulfill their vision of how the San Diego Padres should be run.

Oh, and there's this fun little write up we found about Preller's time at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, NY:

Voted Mr. Whitman 1995, Principal’s List, National Honor Society, Italian Honor Society, Scholar Athlete award, and a Gold Key award. He was also a class officer for all four years of high school, was captain of the baseball team, and played on the basketball and soccer teams.

If Preller accomplishes anywhere near that much in his new role, the Padres should be in good shape for a long time.

Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Just Miss In Minnesota]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 22:43:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/453228858.jpg

When a baseball team has 12 hits in a 9-inning game, and one of those hits is a home run, and that team does not ground in to a single double play ... the natural assumption is that team will have scored more than one run.

But when that team is the Padres, things tend to happen a bit un-naturally.

The Friars did, indeed, score only one run on 12 hits and lost to the Twins 3-1 at Target Field on Tuesday night. Yonder Alonso had three of those hits, including a solo home run (his first homer since June 7), but the Padres left at least one runner on base in every single inning.

Well, every inning except the second, when Alonso doubled and Yasmani Grandal tried to score from first base. Grandal dove around Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki and thought he avoided the tag, but home plate umpire Mike DiMuro disagreed.

Padres manager Bud Black elected not to ask for a replay challenge. Multiple TV views showed there probably was not conclusive evidence to overturn the call.

The Twins got all their runs in one swing. Rookie pitcher Jesse Hahn was not as sharp has he has been recently, but he certainly did not throw poorly. After a walk and a double in the 6th inning, Hahn left a curve ball up and Kennys Vargas deposited it in the right field bleachers for a 3-run shot.

Hahn was saddled with his third loss of the season. The Padres try to split the short two-game set on Wednesday in a 10:00 a.m. San Diego time start. Odrisamer Despaigne takes the mound against former Padre and Granite Hills High School alum Kevin Correia.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Red-Hot Padres Head to Twin Cities]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:08:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jesse+hahn+twins+preview.jpg

Don’t put away those brooms just yet, Padres fans. There could be more sweeping on the way.

After taking three straight from the Atlanta Braves over the weekend for their second series sweep of the season, the Friars head to the Twin Cities to face the last-place Minnesota Twins for a quickie two-game series starting Tuesday.

Things are pointing up for the Friars: A lineup that’s suddenly clicking after months of ineptitude, a hot pitcher in Jesse Hahn throwing the opener, a Twins team that has lost more than it’s won at home (24-29).

Most of all, it’s the fact that the Padres – yes, the Padres – are the hottest team in baseball, having won five of six and 10 of 15. That’s the best mark in baseball over that time. Can you believe they have scored the most runs in baseball (78 in 16 games) since the All-Star break?

Maybe the addition by subtraction strategy will keep on working. After dealing away a ton of talent before the trade deadline, the Padres just lost Vice President/Assistant General Manager A.J. Hinch, who quit his job on Tuesday. The move comes amid a drawn-out search for a new GM.

Hey, if losing a bunch of players on the field leads to some wins, maybe the same will be true in the executive offices, too.

Either way, a five-game road trip starts out on a high note – and maybe a little more sweeping by the Friars. Here’s a peek at what to expect from the upcoming series.

Tuesday, 5:10 p.m.:
Jesse Hahn (R, 2.01) vs. Phil Hughes (R, 10-8, 4.12)
After a shaky MLB debut, Hahn has been untouchable. He has allowed more than two  earned runs just once in his last eight starts, winning seven of them. Hughes has lost three straight starts, despite walking just two batters in that span.

Wednesday, 10:10 a.m.: Odrisamer Despaigne (R, 2-3, 2.68) vs. Kevin Correia (R, 5-13, 4.96)
You could really call OD’s start against the Cardinals (5.2 IP, 9 hits, 6 runs) his first bad start since getting called up. He still have five quality starts in his first seven outings. Correia joins Eric Stults as the only two pitchers in baseball with 13 losses.

What’s at stake: From a playoff perspective, both teams more or less lost hope long ago. They each trail the wild card race in their respective leagues by 8 ½ games. That’s not insurmountable, but come on.

The Padres look to build on what has been their hottest run of the season. This is a team that has lost just one series since the All-Star break, but must play 15 of its next 18 games on the road.

This is the last time the two teams will meet this year. The Twins won a pair at Petco Park back in May.

Who to watch:
Tommy Medica just punished the Braves, tallying three homers and 18 total bases, including a five-hit game on Friday. He is 16 for 35 (.457) since the break, good for second in the NL. Outfielder Seth Smith leads the team with 11 homers, 32 RBIs and a .289 average. He has hits in four of his last five starts. Infielder Yangervis Solarte has been a shot in the arm since coming over from the Yankees. He has 14 hits and a pair of homers in his first 12 games as a Padre.

Twins: All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier has been one of the rare sources of power in this lineup, conking 19 home runs and driving in 49. He’s also struck out a whopping 92 times this year. Dozier has nine hits in his last five games. Outfielder Josh Willingham has 11 long balls but is hitting just .218 on the year. Closer Glen Perkins is fourth in the league with 27 saves.

Coming up: The wide open road awaits, as the Padres head to Pittsburgh this weekend. They return home for three against the Colorado Rockies next week before embarking on a 10-game road trip.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trevor Hoffman Voted Into Padres Hall of Fame]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 08:20:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hoffmanp7.jpg

The exclusive club that is the Padres Hall of Fame is getting a little bigger.

Longtime closer Trevor Hoffman, who is Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader and spent parts of 16 years with the Padres, will be the ninth person to join the hall.

He will be inducted before the August 30 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I’m thrilled to be inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame,” Hoffman said in a statement. “To be able to join a group of people whose contributions have not only shaped our organization, but also strengthened the game of baseball, is an honor."

The Padres Hall of Fame committee voted unanimously to induct Hoffman. It is comprised of members of the local sports media and San Diego Padres front office.

Hoffman finished with 601 career saves in his 18 years in the big leagues, 552 of them with the Padres. He compiled a 54-64 record with a 2.76 ERA and 1,029 strikeouts in 902 appearances.

He is still in the Padres’ organization, serving as the upper-level pitching coordinator.

Other members of the Padres Hall of Fame: Buzzie Bavasi, Nate Colbert, Jerry Coleman, Tony Gwynn, Randy Jones, Ray Kroc, Dick Williams and Dave Winfield. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Walk Off Braves (Part Deux)]]> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 00:11:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/187*120/453132218.jpg

For the second straight night, the Padres beat the Braves on a walk-off hit in extra innings. I could get used to this!

Everth Cabrera's 2-out single in the 10th scored Alexi Amarista with the final run in the Padres' 4-3 win.

Tommy Medica continued his hot streak with another home run, his third of the series, a solo shot in the 8th inning. Medica finished the weekend going 8-for-12 with 5 RBI.

Padres starter Tyson Ross gave up two runs in 6-plus innings, striking out seven.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Walk Off The Braves]]> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 23:44:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/453097222.jpg

While the Padres have spent the better part of the last two weeks clubbing teams to death with their suddenly potent offense, do not be fooled.

This is still, at its core, a pitching and defense king of team.

That's how they beat the Braves 3-2 in 12 innings at Petco Park on Saturday night. After several missed opportunities to score runs (Tommy Medica created a couple of them with two more hits), the Friars found themselves in deep trouble in the top of the 12th.

Atlanta loaded the bases against Tim Stauffer with nobody out. After a lengthy meeting on the mound, Stauffer got Evan Gattis to ground in to a 5-2-3 double play, then got Chris Johnson on another groundout to escape with no runs scored.

In the bottom of that very same inning, the Padres loaded the bases with one out against All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, who was trying to go more than one inning for only the third time this season.

After walking the bases loaded, Kimbrel grooved one to Will Venable, and Will didn't miss it. His line drive soared over the head of right fielder Jason Hayward, who misplayed it but would not have been able to throw out Yangervis Solarte at the plate anyway.

Since the All-Star break the Padres have gone 9-6, and have a chance to sweep Atlanta on Sunday behind All-Star Tyson Ross, who gets the start against former Padre and San Diego native Aaron Harang.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Addition by Subtraction Works for Padres]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:39:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/solarte+braves+preview.jpg

The waiting is over. Now it’s time to get on with the rest of the season.

Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline passed with just one more casualty from the Padres roster – outfielder Chris Denorfia, whose much-anticipated ticket out of town was punched with a deal involving the Seattle Mariners.

Now, barring any minor waiver wire trades, the core of the team is set for the season until the September call-ups arrive.

Really, the addition by subtraction has gone pretty well. Since the Padres announced the trade of closer Huston Street on July 18, they are 7-6 and have won three of four series. They've also been hitting the ball, scoring nearly 5 1/2 runs per game over their past nine. This from a team that has been shut out more than anyone else this season.

The only series loss since the trades started going down came to the Atlanta Braves last weekend. Conveniently, that same team comes to Petco this weekend for a rematch. The Braves are in the middle of a playoff race while the Padres teeter on the edge of fourth place in the National League West. But now they’re ridin’ lean with a revamped roster. Will they continue to find success?

Let’s break down the weekend.

Friday, 7:10 p.m.:
Eric Stults (L, 3-13, 5.22) vs. Mike Minor (L, 4-6, 5.23)
Could anybody use a victory more than Stults? He has one win since May 10. He took the loss (big surprise) against the Braves last weekend, giving up six runs in as many innings. Minor got the win against the Padres last weekend, but gave up six earned runs in his two previous starts.

Saturday, 5:40 p.m.: Ian Kennedy (R, 8-9, 3.66) vs. Ervin Santana (R, 10-6, 3.63)
Now that all the trade rumors are over, Kennedy can just focus on pitching. It hasn’t been a problem lately, as he has won three straight.  Santana has also won three straight, racking up double-digit strikeouts in his last two starts.

Sunday, 1:10 p.m.: Tyson Ross (R, 10-10, 2.60) vs. Aaron Harang (9-6, 3.43)
It would be a shame if Ross doesn’t at least get some consideration for the NL Cy Young. He now has eight straight quality starts, is sixth in the league in ERA and tied for fourth with 150 strikeouts. #TyforCy. It’s a homecoming for Harang, who played high school ball at Patrick Henry High and in college at San Diego State. He also has a four-game win streak and hasn’t lost in over a month.

What’s at stake: It’s sweep or bust for the Padres if they want to win the season series over the Braves after dropping three of four in Atlanta last weekend. They are also dangerously close to getting passed by the Diamondbacks for third place, leading by just half a game. Not that it matters much, as the Dodgers are once again run making a late-season run with six straight wins. They have a 3 ½ game lead on the Giants.

Meanwhile, the Braves lead the race for the second wild card spot and trail the Washington Nationals by just 1 ½ games for the division lead. Of course, they are no strangers to the playoffs, having made the postseason two of the last three years.

Who to watch:
Infielder Yangervis Solarte is making himself right at home after coming over in the Chase Headley deal. He is hitting .324 in nine games with the team, including a four-hit night on Wednesday. Outfielder Seth Smith is coming off a July where he was among the league leaders with a .358 average – although he has cooled off this week with just a pair of hits in his last 15 at-bats. And how about second baseman Jedd Gyorko, finally coming out of a season-long slump with six hits and two homers against the Cardinals this week. His average is still just .183 on the season.

Braves: Outfielder Justin Upton leads the team with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs. He has a hit in his last five games. First baseman Freddie Freeman leads the team and is seventh in the NL with 28 doubles. Rookie second baseman Tommy La Stella leads the team with a .294 average.

Coming up: It’s back to the road as the Padres visit Minnesota and Pittsburgh next week before returning home to play the Rockies on Aug. 11.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Avoid Sweep At Petco Park]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:00:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/161*120/452984216.jpg

If his first five games back from the disabled list are any indication, Padres 2nd baseman Jedd Gyorko's second half of the 2014 season will look a lot like the second half of Chase Headley's 2012 season.

On Thursday against the Cardinals, Gyorko hit a home run for the second straight game, an opposite field shot off Cardinals starter Shelby Miller. Gyorko is hitting .500 since his return with a double, two home runs and six runs batted in.

Will Venable also went deep against Miller, but the Padres only had one other hit, a Rene Rivera double, in their 6-2 loss to St. Louis. Padres starting pitcher Odrsiamer Despaigne allowed all six Cardinals runs in 5.2 innings to take his second straight loss.

The Padres still won the series, 2-1. They start a 3-game set against the Braves on Friday night at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Trade Chris Denorfia to Mariners]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:36:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chris+denorfia.jpg

The Padres made another trade on Thursday, sending popular outfielder Chris Denorfia to the Mariners in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers, RHP Stephen Kohlscheen and OF Abraham Almonte.

Kohlscheen, 25, has split the 2014 season between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma, going 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA ), 55 strikeouts and 10 walks over 38 relief appearances. Drafted by the Mariners in the 45th round of the 2010 Draft, Kohlscheen does not have overpowering stuff but has found ways to get hitters out consistently. One negative is his tendency to elevate pitches (probably because he's 6'6") and allowing home runs.

Almonte is also 25 years old. He's hitting .267 (74-for-277) with 10 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 31 RBI and 42 runs scored in 72 games for Triple-A Tacoma. The switch-hitter has also played in 27 Major League games for Seattle this season.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Almonte was signed by the Yankees as a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic. Early in his minor league career he struggled offensively, and eventually overcame alcohol addiction. After a trade to the Mariners, Almonte's bat showed vast improvement. He hit 15 home runs and earned a late-season call up to the big league club.

In Denorfia, the Padres are losing an above-average defensive outfielder who's extremely tough against left-handed pitching. He became a Padres fan favorite with his constant hustle.

That makes three trades for the Friars, and there are still 50 minutes left until the trade deadline. Is this the last move to be made?

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Hammer Cardinals]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:00:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jedd+gyorko+cards+preview.jpg

Starting pitcher Jesse Hahn is continuing his impressive run. On Wednesday night he allowed just four hits and one run in seven innings of work. At 7-2, Hahn is off to the best start ever by a Padres rookie. To say he also got offensive support would be an understatement as the Padres beat the Cardinals 12-1.

Jedd Gyorko collected four hits and four RBI including his 6th home run of the season. Will Venable also went yard. Yangervis Solarte added four base hits and drove in a pair. The Padres put the game away in the bottom of the seventh, pushing eight runs across the plate.

The Padres go for the unlikely series sweep against the Cardinals Thursday afternoon at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Magazine Honors Tony Gwynn]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:07:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sd+mag+issue+gwyn+story.jpg

Back in the day, San Diego Magazine writer Ron Donoho had the idea to get a hitting lesson from Padres legend Tony Gwynn. Needless to say, it didn’t go well.

“He was like, ‘I hate your swing,’ Donoho remembers. “I had somebody all set up to take some live pitching, but he wouldn’t even let me get that far.”

What he did was give Donoho his undivided attention for as long as it took – a trait so many people remember about the man they called “Mr. Padre.”

“He stood in the batting cage and made me take swings off the tee,” Donoho said. “He held my tape recorder. What pros would do that? He hung around for more than 3 hours for the piece.”

That was Donoho’s personal remembrance of Gwynn. He was one of the San Diego Magazine contributors who compiled other heartfelt memories of Gwynn from executives, coaches, players, media and fans in a 10-page spread in this month’s issue, titled “Remembering Mr. Padre."

It includes memories from players like Cal Ripken, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with Gwynn in 2007. It also includes a Padres fan who lived in San Francisco and would go see Gwynn every time the Padres were in town.

The memories are spliced with classic photos from his career and life as well as a “scorecard” that highlights the best stats of his career.

"We wanted to give fans a place to pay tribute to him alongside all the VIPs,” Editor Erin Chambers Smith said. “And you know what's cool? The memories and sentiments are very similar, whether from a major leaguer or a little kid. He treated everyone the same. It was an honor for our staff to work on this."

It also pays tribute by making every page in the issue number 19 – a little tricky if you want to navigate the mag, but we’ll let it slide.

Donoho’s favorite contribution was from former Padres president and current Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino.

“I appreciate that he called from Boston,” Donoho said. “I always liked him. He’s a smart guy.”

The issue hit newsstands this week. Or you can just read the digital version.

In case you missed them, here are some other great tributes to Gwynn, including a story from his batboy with the Padres.

Of course, NBC 7’s tributes to Gwynn are the best around, in our completely unbiased opinion.

<![CDATA[Padres Top Cardinals 3-1]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:42:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/tyson+ross+dodgers+preview.jpg

Tyson Ross (10-10) wasn't at his best, but was good enough. Despite giving up five walks, Ross allowed just one run as the Padres beat the Cardinals 3-1.

The offense was supplied by Jedd Gyorko, who had two hits including the go-ahead RBI single in the sixth. Yangervis Solarte homered in the seventh, his second as a Padres and the first batting from the left side.

Game two of the series is Wednesday night at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Petco Goes to the Dogs]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:35:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dog+day+thumb.jpg The Friars' best friends took over Petco Park before Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals as part of the annual Dog Days of Summer promotion.

Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Finally Getting Healthy]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:27:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jedd+gyorko+cards+preview.jpg

Slowly but surely, the Padres are starting to get healthy again.

Shortstop Everth Cabrera was activated from the disabled list today after missing all of July with a hamstring injury. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko returned to the lineup on Monday after missing 44 games with plantar fasciitis in his foot. Yonder Alonso was back at his post at first base over the weekend after spending more than a month on the shelf with a sore wrist.

Perhaps most importantly, staff ace Andrew Cashner threw a successful bullpen session and could be back in the next few weeks. He has made just 12 starts this season after two stints on the disabled list.

Of course, with the Padres looking at a 12 ½ game hole in the National League West after dropping three of four to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, it’s more a case of too-little-too-late. It also makes you think what could have been if everyone had stayed healthy all season.

But speculating about that won’t do any good. Instead, the team has to focus on the St. Louis Cardinals, who come to town for a three-game series this week. It’s the first time back at Petco Park in nine days for the Friars, who will spend all week at home.

Can the new additions to the lineup help put some runs on the board against a streaking Cards team? Let’s find out.

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.:
Tyson Ross (R, 9-10, 2.65) vs. Lance Lynn (R, 11-7, 3.05)
Ho-hum, another quality start from Ross, who has seven straight outings allowing two runs or less. Lynn just had a three-game win streak snapped, despite going six strong against the Tampa Rays over the weekend.

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: Jesse Hahn (R, 6-2, 2.12) vs. Kelly (R, 2-1, 3.90)
Hahn continues to impress, putting up six quality starts – including three in a row – since his call-up last month. He battles Kelly, a SoCal native who went to UC Riverside. He has pitched six or more innings in just two of his six starts this year.

Thursday, 12:40 p.m.: Odrisamer Despaigne (R, 2-2, 1.66) vs. Miller (R, 7-8, 4.20)
It was the shortest start of the season for Despaigne over the weekend, as he went just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and five walks and took the loss. Miller hasn’t won since June 6.

What’s at stake: As usual, the Cardinals are right in the thick of the playoff race. They trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 2 games in the National League Central and are out of the wild card by just a half-game.

This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. They meet in St. Louis next month.

Who to watch:
Outfielder Seth Smith is hitting an astounding .471 over the past week and leads all Padres in home runs (11), average (.295), doubles (21) and walks (44). Tommy Medica is 8 for his last 20. Yangervis Solarte has hits in four of his first six games with the team since coming over in the Chase Headley trade.

Cardinals: Shortstop Jhonny Peralta leads the team with 14 homers and has a hit in five of his last six games. Outfielder Matt Holliday shook off a first-half slump and leads the team with 53 RBIs. He also has three home runs in his past five games. First baseman Matt Adams has hit over .300 in every month except for July (.289). He had a four-RBI game against the Cubs on Saturday.

Coming up: The Atlanta Braves come to town for a rematch of last weekend’s series where they took three of four from the Friars.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heading Home]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:10:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*284/padres+pic+521+16.jpg

For the sixteenth time this season the Padres failed to score a run. For the upteenth time they wasted another strong starting pitching performance. The result: A 2-0 loss in the series finale on Monday to the Braves.

Padres starter Jason Lane (0-1), a former big-league position player turned pitcher, navigated through six-plus innings and really made only one mistake. The 37-year old hung a slider to lead-off hitter Evan Gattis in the seventh inning. Gattis promptly deposited it into the left field seats at Turner Field. That was all the offense the Braves would need, although they tacked on another run in the eighth.

The Braves got a strong performance from Ervin Santana (10-6). His slider was snapping and Padres hitters were swinging. That combination led to eleven strikeouts for Santana, tying a career high. For good measure reliever Craig Kimbrel took over where Santana left off. The Braves closer pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out the side for his 32nd save of the season.

The Padres finished the road trip with a 3-4 record. They face the Cardinals Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One Bad Inning Dooms Padres]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:10:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/452811220.jpg

The Padres should get Andrew Cashner back from injury soon. When that happens, somebody is going to have to come out of the starting rotation.

Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Jesse Hahn aren't going anywhere (even though Kennedy will miss Monday's scheduled start in Atlanta with an oblique injury while Jason Lane is called up from El Paso to take the hill).

Despite Saturday night's setback, Odrisamer Despaigne has earned his keep.

So the odd man out might be the one who's thrown more innings for the team than anyone else the last two seasons, and the lone lefty in the group; Eric Stults.

Sunday afternoon against the Braves, Stults threw 5.0 hitless innings, allowing just one baserunner and facing the minimum 15 hitters. The problem is, he threw another inning where things just went haywire.

That inning was the 3rd, when Stults gave up six runs on six hits in a game the Braves won 8-3. It's the 13th loss of the season for Stults.

The Padres offense came on solo home runs from Yangervis Solarte (his first in a San Diego uniform) and Rene Rivera, and an RBI single by Tommy Medica.

The Padres can split the series on Monday behind Lane, who'll be making his first career MLB start on the mound. Lane played parts of six seasons, mostly with the Astros, as an outfielder before going back to the minors and reinventing himself as a left-handed pitcher.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>