Kelley finds his footing, and finds success

Kelley finds his footing, and finds success

ST. LOUIS -- It took him some time to get going, but reliever Shawn Kelley has certainly become one of the Padres' most reliable -- and successful -- bullpen cogs.

Kelley struck out four over two scoreless innings in the Padres' 5-3 win over the Cardinals in 11 innings on Thursday, lowering his ERA since May 1 to 2.31.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

ICYMI: Friars take series opener on 3 homers

ICYMI: Friars take series opener on 3 homers

Will Venable must have gone to bed with a smile on his face on Thursday evening after his pinch-hit two-run home run in the 11th inning proved to be the deciding factor in the Padres' 5-3 victory over the Cardinals in the first of a four-game set. Venable's homer, although significant, may have only been the second-biggest home run of the evening after starter Tyson Ross clubbed his first career Major League blast six innings earlier to give the Padres a 3-1 lead. Ross, whose batting average hovered around .154 prior to Thursday night's game, had amassed 120 at-bats before finally going yard.

Ross' pitching continued to impress as well. Ross surrendered only three earned runs on four hits over six innings with six strikeouts for a no-decision after Thursday's game went into extra innings in St. Louis. The Friars scored their five runs on eight total hits, including four extra-base hits -- three of which went for home runs.

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Venable comes through in 'tough' pinch-hitting role

Padres outfielder hits game-winning HR in 11th vs. Cardinals

Venable comes through in 'tough' pinch-hitting role

ST. LOUIS -- Will Venable would love to tell you he has this whole pinch-hitting thing down, but the reality is the Padres' outfielder is realizing just how difficult that job can be.

On Thursday night, Venable sat for three-plus hours before getting his chance. He made the most of it, hitting a two-run home run in the 11th inning of the Padres' 5-3 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rea promoted to Triple-A El Paso; Decker on PCL All-Star team

Double-A OFs Jankowski, Gillies to Pan-American Games among moves

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Right-handed pitcher Colin Rea has been promoted from Double-A San Antonio to Triple-A El Paso among a number of personnel moves made by the Padres this week and Chihuahuas infielder Cody Decker has named the designated hitter on the Pacific Coast League team for the Triple-A All-Star Game.

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Norris comes up big in rare start at first base

Norris comes up big in rare start at first base

ST. LOUIS -- The way his night was going offensively on Thursday, Derek Norris figured he had to find a way to contribute even if it didn't mean swinging a bat.

So Norris, who before Thursday's game against the Cardinals had only played 16 career innings at first base, did it with his glove.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Win in St. Louis opens crucial trip for Padres

Home run notes on Ross, updates on Solarte, Shields, Alonso, Rea

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

We've said it before this season, but the road trip the Padres launched Thursday with a 5-3, 11-inning win is crucially important.

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All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday

All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday

It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.

After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross hits a homer, something that dinosaurs don't do

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Ross hits a homer, something that dinosaurs don't do

According to some, the four things that separate humankind from animal is our minds -- our "generative computation, promiscuous combination of ideas, the use of mental symbols, and abstract thought." 

That's obviously wrong. It's dingers. I mean, have you ever seen a dog or a bear or an aardvark smack a home run? And if you have, could you email us because that's internet gold? 

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Venable blast lifts Padres past Cards in 11th

Venable blast lifts Padres past Cards in 11th

ST LOUIS -- The Padres opened a four-game series at Busch Stadium with a 5-3 win over the Cardinals on Thursday after Will Venable broke an 11-inning tie with a two-out, pinch-hit home run off reliever Carlos Villanueva.

The win snapped San Diego's three-game losing streak and sent St. Louis to a third straight home loss for the first time this year. Venable's blast came after the Padres successfully challenged Clint Barmes' drive down the right-field line that stayed in fair territory. It had initially been ruled foul.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres add depth with international prospects

Padres add depth with international prospects

ST. LOUIS -- It was a busy day on Thursday for Padres international scouting director Chris Kemp as he presided over his first international signing day.

The Padres were able to sign five players and agreed to terms with another, shoehorning them into their pool of $2,691,800 during this signing period.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Middlebrooks nears return from ankle injury

'I feel like we dodged a bullet,' Padres third baseman says

Middlebrooks nears return from ankle injury

ST. LOUIS -- Will Middlebrooks took a step toward returning to a spot in the starting lineup on Thursday -- several of them, in fact.

Middlebrooks, who rolled his right ankle while giving chase to a foul ball on Sunday, did early work at Busch Stadium on Thursday, testing his ankle with a series of drills.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres have lofty goals despite struggles

Padres have lofty goals despite struggles

SAN DIEGO -- As the Padres fell at home again, 7-0, to Seattle in their second straight shutout loss, interim manager Pat Murphy was honest and candid about the team's recent struggles.

"The deal is this. I don't know the last four or five years, but they probably haven't had the expectations that they had this year, so if you come in new to the club, what has kind of shocked me is just how tense everyone is. I'm shocked," Murphy said. "The guys are playing because they want to win, and the expectation is that they will win. That creates a little more tension and a little more sense of urgency. That's great, but all 25 guys got to pull together and do that. And with that, you kind of go through days like this."

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Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shields solid, but Padres' bats struggle

Shields solid, but Padres' bats struggle

SAN DIEGO -- Taijuan Walker and four relievers combined to shut out the Padres on three hits Wednesday as the Mariners took both games of the series at Petco Park with a 7-0 Interleague victory.

Walker threw six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. The 22-year-old is 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA with 51 strikeouts and three walks over his last seven starts. Seattle held the Padres to no runs and four hits over 18 innings in the two games and won the season series, 3-1.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morrow progressing after right shoulder injury

Murphy says adjustments important, would 'love to have him back'

Morrow progressing after right shoulder injury

SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Brandon Morrow said he will complete a bullpen session either Wednesday, but most likely Thursday, as he continues to recover from a right shoulder inflammation injury.

"I've been feeling great," Morrow said. "I think we have made really good progress. I feel strong this time around. No problems at all throwing, long toss and flat ground work. ...The first step is just getting on the mound and getting my feet underneath me. It will be like 30 fastballs just to get adjusted to the slope again. I have been playing catch and feeling good."

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Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy hopes Padres 'flush' offensive woes

Murphy hopes Padres 'flush' offensive woes

SAN DIEGO -- While nearly all of the Padres were getting their first look at Mainers pitcher Mike Montgomery in Tuesday's 5-0 loss at Petco Park, the team's interim manager, Pat Murphy, already had a good idea of what to expect.

On April 18, while pitching for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, with Murphy managing the Padres' Triple-A affiliate, El Paso roughed up Montgomery for five runs in 2 2/3 innings.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres lack punch, held to 1 hit vs. Mariners

Padres lack punch, held to 1 hit vs. Mariners

SAN DIEGO -- Mike Montgomery didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning on Tuesday and finished with a shutout as the Mariners topped the Padres, 5-0, at Petco Park.

Montgomery, coming off a five-hit shutout of the Royals the last time out, allowed his only hit with one out in the seventh as Yangervis Solarte doubled. Montgomery walked four, hit a batter and struck out seven. He became the 12th Major League rookie to throw consecutive shutouts since 1980 and first since Jeremy Sowers of the Indians in 2006.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gyorko returns to Padres with confidence

Second baseman back from Triple-A stint after Spangenberg goes on DL

Gyorko returns to Padres with confidence

SAN DIEGO -- When the Padres placed infielder Cory Spangenberg on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a left knee contusion, they reached to their Triple-A roster for a familiar face.

The Padres recalled second baseman Jedd Gyorko from Triple-A El Paso, where he had played since the team sent him there on June 10.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jankowski has HR, 3B in Texas League ASG

Luebke pitches scoreless inning as rehab shifts to Triple-A El Paso

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Center fielder Travis Jankowski opened the Double-A Texas League All-Star Game with a home run Tuesday night.

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Luebke projected to rejoin Padres after All-Star break

Two-thirds of runs allowed by Kennedy in '15 have come on homers

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The left-hander has had two "Tommy John" elbow reconstruction surgeries since he last appeared in a Major League game on April 27, 2012.

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Venable saddened by ballpark fire in Eugene

Padres outfielder played at historic Civic Stadium to begin pro career

Venable saddened by ballpark fire in Eugene

SAN DIEGO -- Padres outfielder Will Venable arrived at Petco Park on Tuesday unaware that historic Civic Stadium in Eugene, Ore., where he played in summer 2005, was destroyed by a fire on Monday.

"I didn't know, Venable said. "I'm not on social media and that was so long ago, I don't think anyone I know knows about that place."

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Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy learning on the fly at helm of Padres

Murphy learning on the fly at helm of Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Last week, four hours before first pitch for a game in San Francisco, Pat Murphy followed his 14-year-old son, Kai, up the steps of the lower seating bowl at AT&T Park.

When they got to the top of the concourse, Murphy turned to survey the field and the ballpark, soaking in the picturesque view spread out before him.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickerson hits first homer since June 2 for Triple-A El Paso

Padres' No. 13 prospect ends dinger drought with first multi-homer game of the year

Dickerson hits first homer since June 2 for Triple-A El Paso

Alex Dickerson ended a lengthy home run drought in style.

The Padres' No. 13 prospect went 4-for-5 with two dingers and four RBIs in Triple-A El Paso's 14-1 win over Tacoma on Monday night. The homers came in back-to-back innings - - the fourth and fifth - - during which El Paso scored a dozen runs to blow the game open.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers by Dickerson, McElroy pace El Paso

Jankowski, Rea, Hancock, Guerrero in Texas League All-Star Game

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Alex Dickerson hit two homers and Casey McElroy hit a grand slam on his return to Triple-A El Paso on Monday night as the 39-38 Chihuahuas took a 14-1 win at Tacoma.

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Gyorko returns as Spangenberg goes on disabled list

Jedd was hitting .279 with 4 HRs at Triple-A El Paso

Gyorko returns as Spangenberg goes on disabled list

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

After infielder Cory Spangenberg left Saturday night's game with a bone bruise to his left knee, the Padres adopted a wait-and-see position. They could go two or three days a player short while determining whether or not Spangenberg needed to go on the disabled list with his injury.

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Norris, Kemp combine for three homers in loss

Norris, Kemp combine for three homers in loss

SAN DIEGO -- Welington Castillo, David Peralta and Jake Lamb hit home runs Sunday as the D-backs salvaged one game in their series with San Diego, defeating the Padres, 6-4, at Petco Park.

"It was a day of home runs," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "We did a good job getting six runs and those are tough games when you've lost two and they feel pretty good about themselves. We were able to hold them off, it was good."

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense perking up with Kemp in leadoff spot

Padres right fielder homers again in Sunday's loss

Offense perking up with Kemp in leadoff spot

SAN DIEGO -- The sample size is stunningly small, but Padres interim manager Pat Murphy likes Matt Kemp in the leadoff spot.

In Sunday's 6-4 loss to the D-backs, Kemp hit leadoff for the fifth time in as many days. After going hitless in his four at-bats Wednesday, Kemp has seven hits in 16 at-bats with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs out of the top spot in the order.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Not time to move Kemp from leadoff slot

Outfielder is 7-for-20 with two HRs in 5 games at top of order

Not time to move Kemp from leadoff slot

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Already, the tweets and emails are flowing.

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Rea allows one earned run over seven innings in AA-San Antonio win

Texas League All-Star has 1.08 ERA at the break

Rea allows one earned run over seven innings in AA-San Antonio win

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Right-hander Colin Rea continued his domination of the Double-AA Texas League Sunday afternoon as he held Midland to two runs (one earned) over seven innings in host San Antonio's 7-2 win.

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