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Showing Signs Of Improvement

Padres Offense Stirs In Loss To Diamondbacks



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    SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 3: Jedd Gyorko #9 of the San Diego Padres hits a two run home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park May 3, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

    The Padres lost to the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Saturday night at Petco Park. Heading to the 9th inning, Arizona led 4-0, which means the Padres had gone 17 straight innings without scoring on a Diamondbacks pitching staff that has allowed the most runs in Major League Baseball.

    You'd have to figure frustration is building up. I asked catcher Yasmani Grandal if he felt like throwing stuff around the clubhouse to let the steam out.

    "Well, of course. You always feel that way," said Grandal. "But, you think about it, what's that going to do? For me it's not going to do anything. It's not going to get me a base hit."

    I also asked Padres manager Bud Black if he, at times during this slump, felt like letting out his inner Earl Weaver and just go nuts.

    "Yes," said Black bluntly. The follow-up question was, then how do you keep it together?

    "You've got to understand it's a long season built on, at times, peaks and valleys. We're in a little bit of a valley offensively, to say the least, with a number of guys. But, you're in this game a long time, as long as I've been in it, I've seen it before. You've got to weather the storm."

    It would appear the Padres have done that, and if Saturday's last three innings are any indication, things are, indeed, about to turn around.

    From the 7th inning on, the Padres had seven hits. Another ball, a line shot by Xavier Nady that was turned in to a double play when Arizona 2nd baseman Aaron Hill made an acrobatic stop, was at least hit hard.

    In the 9th inning alone, the Padres got a line shot double from Grandal to score Seth Smith (who had three of the Padres nine hits), a 408-foot home run from Jedd Gyorko (his first homer since April 13), and a double from Cameron Maybin to at least get the tying run on base.

    It was the kind of stretch that makes you think an offensive outburst is on the horizon.

    "We can follow each other," said Gyorko. "One good inning like that, you see a couple guys hit the ball hard, and it starts to trickle down through the lineup. Guys start gaining confidence with good swings from the guys ahead of them. Hopefully we can start bunching some hits together."

    Humble prediction for Sunday's series finale: The Padres will reach double digits in runs for the first time this season.