Norris' grand slam walk-off snaps Bucs' streak

Norris' grand slam walk-off snaps Bucs' streak

SAN DIEGO -- Derek Norris hit a walk-off grand slam in the ninth to lift the Padres to a 6-2 win over the Pirates Friday night at Petco Park. Francisco Liriano gave the Pirates all he had for six innings, allowing only three hits and striking out 11, but the bullpen couldn't hold a two-run lead

The shot to left-center snapped Pittsburgh's seven-game winning streak and came after the Padres loaded the bases with none out off reliever Rob Scahill. The Pirates then pulled Gregory Polanco from right field, replacing him with Sean Rodriguez and then moving him to the infield. Playing in tight and with five infielders, pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista and Yangervis Solarte bounced into the forceouts at the plate before Norris hit the homer.

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

Norris erases golden sombrero with heroics

Padres catcher overcomes rough night to deliver walk-off grand slam

Norris erases golden sombrero with heroics

SAN DIEGO -- Derek Norris went 4-for-4 in five at-bats, but please follow along.

Norris smashed a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the ninth Friday night, lifting the Padres to a 6-2 win over the Pirates.

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

ICYMI: Norris' walk-off slam overpowers Pirates

ICYMI: Norris' walk-off slam overpowers Pirates

Take note readers at home: Just because you have a rough go at the plate in the first eight innings of a game doesn't mean you can't completely turn things around with one swing of the bat. Derek Norris did just that on Friday as he hit a game-winning walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to catapult the Padres to a 6-2 victory over the Pirates. Norris, who had struck out four times in his first four at-bats on the evening, becomes the first Major League player to hit a walk-off grand slam following a four strikeout performance in the same game since 1900.

Outside of the ninth-inning heroics, the second game of a four-game set was a well battled contest by the Padres who ultimately came out victorious on the other side. Starter James Shields pitched valiantly, collecting a no decision but also continuing his string of quality starts after giving up only two earned runs over six innings of work. Shields can thank Abraham Almonte for preserving his perfect 6-0 record, as Almonte was the one who initiated the Padres comeback with a game-tying 2-RBI double in the seventh inning. Finally, closer Craig Kimbrel earned his first win of the year while lowering his ERA to 4.74 following a perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning of relief.

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Will Morrow replace Despaigne or Kennedy when he returns?

Right-handed starter could start rehab Tuesday on same day struggling Kennedy starts for Padres

Will Morrow replace Despaigne or Kennedy when he returns?

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

If everything goes to plan, right-handed starter Brandon Morrow could return to the Padres rotation on June 7-8 or June 12-13.

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Ross looking for run support vs. Pirates

Ross looking for run support vs. Pirates

SAN DIEGO -- Tyson Ross needs a little help from his friends.

The Padres right-hander takes the mound Saturday night, facing the Pirates' Charlie Morton, who is making his second start of the season.

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

Casey Kelly throws four scoreless innings in first 2015 start

Kyle Lloyd paces Single-A Lake Elsinore shutout with seven innings

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

Right-hander Casey Kelly allowed two hits with a strikeout over four scoreless innings for Double-A San Antonio Thursday night in his first start of the 2015 season.

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Petco Park will host NCAA hoops in December

San Diego State, University of San Diego to match up at ballpark on Dec. 5

Petco Park will host NCAA hoops in December

College basketball is coming to Petco Park. The Padres announced Friday that their home stadium will play host to a game between San Diego State and the University of San Diego on Dec. 5. It will be the first college basketball game in the 11-year history of the stadium.

The outdoor court will be built on the infield near home plate, and a capacity crowd for basketball will be nearly 20,000 fans. Bleacher seating will be erected on both open sides of the court.

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

Gyorko hoping to find the form he had in 2013

Padres second baseman determined to earn more playing time

Gyorko hoping to find the form he had in 2013

SAN DIEGO -- With the Padres' impressive offseason, the future is bright in their eyes. But Jedd Gyorko would like to spin the time machine the other way.

"I think the 2013 Jedd Gyorko is in there,'' manager Bud Black said.

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

Kennedy struggles early and Padres can't recover

Kennedy struggles early and Padres can't recover

SAN DIEGO -- The Pirates continued to ride their starting pitching Thursday night against the Padres at Petco Park as they won their seventh in a row, 11-5, this time behind veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett.

Pirates starters are 7-0 during the streak and Burnett continued a spectacular May. In this month alone, Burnett is 5-0, winning five in a row in his six starts. But it was his worst outing of the month statistically, as he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Burnett had allowed five runs (four earned) in his previous six starts.

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

ICYMI: Pitching struggles in series opener against Bucs

ICYMI: Pitching struggles in series opener against Bucs

Starter Ian Kennedy hit a momentous milestone in Thursday night's contest against the Pirates, recording the 1,000th strikeout of his career with a punchout of A.J. Burnett in the second inning. Unfortunately for Kennedy, that strikeout would stand as his only highlight on the evening as his early struggles against the Bucs would result in an 11-5 loss for the hometown Friars. Kennedy ultimately surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits and three homeruns over 3 2/3 innings pitched.

A silver lining from the evening could be found in the resiliency of the Padres' offense, which scored four runs after facing an early 7-0 deficit. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks continued his torrid hot streak after going 3-for-4 on the evening with an RBI single and a run scored. Outfielder Justin Upton also recorded an RBI and a multihit game for San Diego while Spangenberg contributed with an RBI single of his own. While the Padres' offense managed to scratch five runs across the board against the Pirates starter who owned the lowest ERA in the National League prior to the start of Thursday's game, the early pitching deficit was too much for San Diego to overcome as the Bucs took Game 1.

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Frustrated Kennedy searching for consistency

Padres starter coughs up three homers, but collects 1,000th career strikeout

Frustrated Kennedy searching for consistency

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' Ian Kennedy is looking for answers and they're difficult to find.

Kennedy was battered by the Pirates in Thursday's 11-5 loss, and the Pirates collected their seventh straight win.

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

Venerable Venable continues to prove value

Venerable Venable continues to prove value

Will Venable stopped by Padres Social Hour to talk about the upcoming series against the Pirates on Thursday, his web gems against the Angels and how he helps his team. While some may think that facing a new divisional opponent brings about some much-needed change to the Friars' National League West-heavy schedule, Venable takes a more calculated approach to the process.

"You know, they're big league baseball games, they're all exciting," said Venable. "We're all excited to be there, no matter what. Which division you face isn't a huge factor, but it's nice to play some teams you don't see very often. It's nice to get a different look … but there's pros and cons to the process."

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2015 season's been a 'frustrating' ride for Kennedy

Justin Upton first Major Leaguer to 10-homer, 10-steal plateau

2015 season's been a 'frustrating' ride for Kennedy

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

Describing Ian Kennedy's season thus far as a "roller coaster," Padres manager Bud Black called the right-handed starting pitcher's outing against the Pirates on Thursday night as "a severe bump in the road."

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Morrow throws first sim game

Padres starter, on the DL since May 5, went three innings

Morrow throws first sim game

SAN DIEGO -- It was the game before the game, and by all accounts, the Padres won.

Prior to San Diego facing the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night, right-handed starter Brandon Morrow took the mound for his first simulated game since landing on the disabled list May 5 with a sore right shoulder.

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

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.

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. The right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts over seven innings to pick up his second win and end a five-game losing streak.

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ICYMI: Middlebrooks leads charge in series victory

ICYMI: Middlebrooks leads charge in series victory

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.

Wins have been hard to come by for Cashner lately in spite of his solid pitching, so it's not hard to imagine that he walked off the field with a big smile on his face. The win would not have been possible for Cashner had it not been for the bat of Will Middlebrooks, who drove in three runs, including two on a homer in the fourth inning. Matt Kemp and Justin Upton also chipped in an RBI each, and for the second night in a row, Will Venable made a dazzling defensive play in the outfield to preserve the game for San Diego.

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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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