How they drew it up: Upton, Kemp deliver in clutch

How they drew it up: Upton, Kemp deliver in clutch

ANAHEIM -- When general manager A.J. Preller pulled off a stunning December deal that landed Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, he did so picturing the offensive pop Kemp and Justin Upton -- another key acquisition -- could offer the middle of the lineup.

It showed up Wednesday, as the Padres secured their first series win since May 8-10 when they held on for a 5-4 victory over the Angels at Angel 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.

Kennedy to oppose fellow veteran Burnett as Bucs visit

Kennedy to oppose fellow veteran Burnett as Bucs visit

The Pirates and Padres will kick off a four-game series at Petco Park on Thursday night, with resurgent right-hander A.J. Burnett set to oppose fellow veteran Ian Kennedy.

Burnett enters the 10th start of what he's said will be his final season carrying a 1.37 ERA for the Pirates. He has won each of his last four starts, including a 10-strikeout performance on Saturday, after going 0-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his first five.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Padres eye healthy return for Morrow

Rotation would be bolstered by righty, who is coming back from shoulder injury

Padres eye healthy return for Morrow

SAN DIEGO -- Perhaps the most telling moment of the quickly progressing season for the Padres will come hours before they open a four-game series on Thursday night against the Pirates at Petco Park.

Brandon Morrow is slated to throw about a 45-pitch simulated game to test his sore right shoulder. If all goes well, the right-hander will be sent out to pitch a rehab start in the Minor Leagues five days hence. If that goes well, Morrow could be back in the rotation when San Diego travels to Cincinnati on June 5.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashner finally gets support ... and a win

Offensive notes on Norris, Middlebrooks, Kemp

Cashner finally gets support ... and a win

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

Andrew Cashner finally got his second win of the season Wednesday night in Anaheim.

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ICYMI: Middlebrooks leads charge in series victory

ICYMI: Middlebrooks leads charge in series victory

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

The Padres' pitching staff has gotten into such a rhythm as of late that fans may be expecting a quality start every time a member of the rotation takes the mound. Andrew Cashner did not disappoint on Wednesday. The right-handed hurler delivered seven innings of three-run baseball to collect his fourth quality start in a row en route to a 5-4 victory over the Angels in Anaheim. Cashner struck out six in the series finale and improved to a 2-7 record.

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Hagerty drops a line to talk M. Upton, Decker

Hagerty drops a line to talk M. Upton, Decker

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

El Paso Chihuahuas broadcaster Tim Hagerty phoned in to Padres Social Hour on Wednesday afternoon to give an update on how San Diego's Triple-A affiliate was handling its players. Hagerty thinks that Padres fans would be happy to know how offseason pickup Melvin Upton Jr. is doing on his rehab assignment, as all signs point to a speedy recovery.

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Jeremy Rodriguez named manager of Dominican Padres

Short-season staff named; Giron 3-for-4 with homer at Fort Wayne

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

Jeremy Rodriguez, who retired as a player last Sunday, has been named to manage the Padres in the Dominican Summer League. Rodriguez is one of three short-season managers recently appointed by the Padres.

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Friars cash in with 5 two-out runs, win series vs. Halos

Friars cash in with 5 two-out runs, win series vs. Halos

ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton and Matt Kemp came up big late, leading the Padres to a 5-4 win on Wednesday night to take two of three at Angel Stadium.

With two on and two outs in the top of the seventh -- and the score knotted at 3 -- Upton snuck a grounder through the left side and Kemp dumped a base hit into shallow right field against Garrett Richards, giving San Diego a two-run lead.

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Corey Brock and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris, Kemp, Upton among All-Star ballot leaderboards

Norris, Kemp, Upton among All-Star ballot leaderboards

ANAHEIM -- The initial voting results from the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot were released Wednesday, and the Padres are well-represented.

That's not something that has occured often in the past, in terms of position players.

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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.

Curveball completes Shields' elite swing-and-miss arsenal

Curveball completes Shields' elite swing-and-miss arsenal

ANAHEIM -- Based on what Padres manager Bud Black knew of James Shields, he knew that he was getting a pitcher with a diverse mix of pitches, but two that often rate as exceptional.

"On video and just the game that I remember of Shields, it was the fastball-changeup combo that was devastating," Black said. "When I saw him throw [the curveball] in Spring Training, I saw how good it was.

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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.

Defense helps Despaigne, starters extend streaks

Venable hitting .408 since taking over in center field

Defense helps Despaigne, starters extend streaks

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

With the help of his defense, Odrisamer Despaigne pitched six shutout innings in Anaheim Tuesday night -- allowing the Padres to extend their streak of quality starts to eight straight games.

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MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Shields enjoys hitting, life in the NL

After 10 years in the AL, veteran righty is happy to swing the bat

Shields enjoys hitting, life in the NL

ANAHEIM -- After a decade with the Rays and Royals, James Shields finally found his way to the ideal place: the National League, courtesy of the Padres and a free-agent deal shaping up as one of the smartest of the offseason.

"I love hitting, man -- I absolutely love it," Shields said on Tuesday night, his Padres visiting the Angels under designated-hitter regulations. "Obviously, a lot of pitchers were hitters in high school. I played first base [at Hart High School in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles]. I wanted to be a hitter, but it worked out fine."

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Kemp's double may break him out of funk

Kemp's double may break him out of funk

ANAHEIM -- Matt Kemp has had one of those months so far for the Padres that he's better off forgetting. But sometimes -- as Crosby, Stills & Nash once sang -- the darkest hour is always, always just before the dawn.

Trying to shake things up for both Kemp and his struggling club, manager Bud Black flipped the right-handed-hitting Kemp and Justin Upton in the batting order Tuesday night against the Angels at Angel Stadium, batting Upton third and Kemp fourth.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

ICYMI: Kemp's knock seals thriller in extras

ICYMI: Kemp's knock seals thriller in extras

It's not every day that you have somebody from the visiting team throw out both the first pitch and the last pitch of a game in a Major League stadium, as the first pitch is typically reserved for somebody from the home team. The Padres, however, were fortunate enough to do just that on Tuesday as the Friars' award-winning TV broadcaster Dick Enberg threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Angel Stadium, while closer Craig Kimbrel shut the door with the last pitch of a 4-0 San Diego victory. Following a scoreless tie that stretched into extra innings in Anaheim, the Friars came out thanks to a handful of clutch moments on the field and at the plate.

Odrisamer Despaigne pitched wonderfully in Tuesday's start, throwing six scoreless innings while striking out five and surrendering only five hits. Despaigne's fourth strikeout of the ballgame marked the 400th strikeout on the season by the Padres' pitching staff, setting a new franchise record for fewest games (47) to hit that mark in a single season. The previous record of 51 games was set last season.

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Jones promoted to Double-A after leading Fort Wayne to sweep

McElroy promoted to Triple-A El Paso to replace injured Lindsey

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

The placement of infielder Taylor Lindsey on the seven-day disabled list at Triple-A El Paso Wednesday morning caused a shuffling of third basemen in the Padres' minor league system.

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MLB.TV unveils new Web-based media player

MLB.TV unveils new Web-based media player

Today's schedule starts with a White Sox-Orioles doubleheader that makes up the games that were postponed last month in Baltimore, and then a Corey Kluber-vs.-Nelson Cruz matchup that headlines six more games to follow. Along the way, you are about to have another one of those MLB.TV moments that make you realize how far we have come since the first live video broadcast stream by a major sports league in 2002.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media is introducing its new Web-based media player (version 5.0), for those who currently subscribe or those who sign up now for MLB.TV Premium ($114.99 a year or $24.99 a month) or regular MLB.TV ($94.99/$19.99). You'll notice the difference right away as the HD media player has an in-page layout, so it all happens in your browser with no need for an additional download.

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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.

Kemp breaks through with decisive double in 10th

Kemp breaks through with decisive double in 10th

ANAHEIM -- A productive April has been followed by a month of offensive struggles for Padres' right fielder Matt Kemp.

But even as his batting average plummeted and his swing got long in search of hits while RBI opportunities went unfulfilled, Kemp refused to hang his head.

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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.

Venable robs Trout's homer with sensational grab

Venable robs Trout's homer with sensational grab

ANAHEIM -- There was once a time when Will Venable put his 6-foot-3 frame to good use playing basketball at Princeton.

On Tuesday, though, the Padres' center fielder used it to make an over-the-fence catch, robbing the Angels' Mike Trout of a two-run home run in the third inning. That catch loomed big, as the game remained scoreless until the 10th inning when the Padres plated got four runs for a 4-0 victory over the Angels.

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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.

Clutch Kemp wins it after Will thrills with catch

Clutch Kemp wins it after Will thrills with catch

ANAHEIM -- Matt Kemp, struggling through a nightmarish month of May, came up big Tuesday night, lining a two-out, bases-clearing double in the 10th inning to lead the Padres to a 4-0 win at Angel Stadium.

Both clubs were held scoreless through the first nine frames -- thanks in large part to Will Venable's sensational over-the-wall grab in the third inning, which robbed Mike Trout of a two-run homer.

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Corey Brock and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tests reveal improvement in Myers' wrist

Tests reveal improvement in Myers' wrist

ANAHEIM -- There was some measure of good news to be had Tuesday in regards to Wil Myers' left wrist, manager Bud Black told reporters.

Myers, on the disabled list with tendinitis in the wrist since May 11, had scans done Tuesday, which revealed improvement.

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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.

Venable making most of increased playing time

Venable making most of increased playing time

ANAHEIM -- Don't look now, but the Padres' hottest hitter of late isn't one of general manager A.J. Preller's prized offseason acquisitions.

Outfielder Will Venable, the longest-tenured Padre, is hitting .400 in his last 45 at-bats and has raised his batting average from .133 on May 7 to .293 entering Tuesday's game against the Angels.

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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.

Pitch to Pujols or Trout? 'It's a tough one,' Black says

Pitch to Pujols or Trout? 'It's a tough one,' Black says

ANAHEIM -- When Mike Trout came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday with runners on the corners and two outs, Padres manager Bud Black was left to mull over a difficult decision.

Do you pitch to Mike Trout or do you walk him, set up a force at any base, and instead pitch to Albert Pujols?

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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.

Center: I'm walking Trout, too

Pujols much less a threat than Angels' top hitter

Center: I'm walking Trout, too

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

The Twitter world is filled today with "How could Bud Black intentionally walk Mike Trout to face Albert Pujols?" messages.

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ICYMI: Friars' comeback for naught as Angels walk off

ICYMI: Friars' comeback for naught as Angels walk off

Monday night's game had a little bit of everything for the Padres as Tyson Ross collected the team's seventh quality start in a row before outfielder Will Venable and first baseman Yangervis Solarte tied the game with a three-run rally in the seventh. Unfortunately, the Angels were able to undo the work set forward by the team after walking off to a 4-3 victory over the Friars at Angel Stadium.

The offense continued to keep their bats warm after Sunday's rout over the Dodgers by collecting nine hits on the evening against the Angels' pitching corps. San Diego's hitters were able to score three runs on a hard-fought two-out rally late in the game, continuing to show the team's resiliency in pressure situations. Solarte and Will Middlebrooks  each enjoyed a multihit game along with outfielder Justin Upton , while Venable snagged his third stolen base on the season. Despite the team's offensive successes, the Angels were able to crack the Padres' bullpen late in the game and took the series opener.

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Padres rally but Angels answer with walk-off in 9th

Padres rally but Angels answer with walk-off in 9th

 ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols lined a broken-bat single through the left side against Padres closer Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the Angels to a thrilling 4-3 walk-off win in Southern California on Memorial Day.

With the score tied at 3 and Kevin Quackenbush on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, Marc Krauss drew a one-out walk and Johnny Giavotella followed with a single up the middle, putting runners on the corners. Kimbrel entered the game, struck out Erick Aybar and intentionally walked Mike Trout to load the bases. Shortly after that, Pujols came through with his eighth career walk-off hit or RBI.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maurer stakes claim on 'pivotal' 7th inning

Padres reliever scoreless in 11 straight appearances

Maurer stakes claim on 'pivotal' 7th inning

ANAHEIM -- Nothing at all against the first six innings of a game or even the last two, but Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley said the seventh inning rates highly in his eyes.

"I think it's one of the most pivotal innings in baseball … especially when you have the lead," Balsley said.

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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.