Padres await announcement of All-Star reserves

Upton appears to be leading candidate with big season on offense

Padres await announcement of All-Star reserves

ST. LOUIS -- There isn't a lot of suspense or uncertainty surrounding who the Padres All-Star Game representative should be.

Outfielder Justin Upton figures to have the best chance to make the National League team when reserves are announced on Monday for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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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.

Bats fall short against Cardinals in finale

Bats fall short against Cardinals in finale

ST. LOUIS -- Behind the bats of their starting pitcher and most recent callup, the Cardinals salvaged a series split with a 3-1 victory over the Padres at Busch Stadium on Sunday. Offense was at a premium throughout the four-game series, as the two teams combined for just 18 runs.

San Diego struck first with a Matt Kemp RBI single in the third to score Yangervis Solarte, who had advanced into scoring position on Lance Lynn's errant pickoff move. But Lynn, who went on to finish seven three-hit innings, retired 11 straight beginning with Kolten Wong's web gem to end that frame.

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

Padres to evaluate when to activate Thayer

Murphy says team will decide sometime during series in Pittsburgh

Padres to evaluate when to activate Thayer

ST. LOUIS -- The Padres will determine this week if relief pitcher Dale Thayer will need a second Minor League rehabilitation outing or if he'll be reinstated from the disabled list.

San Diego interim manager Pat Murphy said the team will make a determination on Thayer at some point during their upcoming three-game series in Pittsburgh, which begins on Monday.

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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.

Shields gets ball as Padres look for another PNC Park win

Shields gets ball as Padres look for another PNC Park win

There's nothing like home cooking, but the Padres have certainly made themselves downright comfortable playing the Pirates at PNC Park.

Going back to the 2008 season, the Padres are 19-4 in their past 23 games at PNC Park, winning 11 consecutive games from 2009-12.

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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 settle for split as Cards take finale

The Padres' offense had a difficult time getting any momentum going on Sunday despite taking an early lead against the Cardinals in the series finale of a four-game set in St. Louis. That lead, which came courtesy of a Matt Kemp RBI single in the third, would not last, as the Cardinals answered in the bottom of the inning before going on to a 3-1 victory. Fortunately for the Padres, their first two victories in the series against one of the toughest teams in baseball padded their record and guaranteed a series split.

Starter Ian Kennedy didn't make too many mistakes on Sunday, as he surrendered only three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts over six innings. Unfortunately, Kennedy didn't receive any run support and was pegged with the loss despite a quality start. Kevin Quackenbush took over for Kennedy at the start of the seventh inning and continued to prove his value in the bullpen with two scoreless innings.

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Despaigne makes himself at home in St. Louis

Despite struggling on the road, Padres starter retires 12 of first 13 batters in no-decision

Despaigne makes himself at home in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- For someone with such a dramatic disparity in his home-road splits, Odrisamer Despaigne found success Saturday seldom seen away from his home ballpark in San Diego.

No one will ever confuse San Diego for St. Louis, though you couldn't have told the difference by the way Despaigne pitched as he took a no-decision in the Padres' 2-1 loss to the Cardinals in front of a sold-out crowd of 44,690 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.

Norris playing with shoulder sprain after collision

Padres catcher takes a hit on infield single in Friday's game, 'adamant' about playing Saturday

Norris playing with shoulder sprain after collision

ST. LOUIS -- Padres catcher Derek Norris suffered an AC sprain of his left shoulder during Friday's 2-1 win over the Cardinals, though he was back in the lineup on Saturday.

"He was adamant about being in there," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy.

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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.

The ups and downs of Odrisamer Despaigne

Notes on Solarte, Gyorko, Norris, Thayer

The ups and downs of Odrisamer Despaigne

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

Since his last start in May, right-handed starter Odrisamer Despaigne has been on a wild ride.

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ICYMI: Unearned run proves difference in Padres' loss

ICYMI: Unearned run proves difference in Padres' loss

The Padres and Cardinals played a tight game on Friday evening, dominated by strong pitching, that ended in a 2-1 victory going to the visitors from San Diego. The very next day, on Saturday afternoon, the Padres and Cards once again played a tight game dominated by strong pitching that ended in a 2-1 victory -- this time going to the hometown Cardinals.

The difference-maker on Saturday turned out to be a late unearned run charged to reliever Brandon Maurer, who came in to try to preserve a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning. Maurer's strong efforts were spoiled, however, after infielder Alexi Amarista made a fielding error on a ground ball that simply kicked off of his glove and allowed the eventual go-ahead run to reach base. Amarista, who has been solid defensively for the most part prior to Saturday's crucial error, made only his ninth error of the season to allow Tommy Pham to reach base and come around to score in the home half of the eighth.

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Renfroe homers; Gale, Dickerson pace Chihuahuas

Lane gets seventh win for Triple-A El Paso

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

Top prospect Hunter Renfroe hit his eighth homer for Double-A San Antonio on Saturday, and left fielder Alex Dickerson and catcher Rocky Gale led Triple-A El Paso back to .500 at Salt Lake.

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Late miscue opens door for loss to Cardinals

Late miscue opens door for loss to Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' offense didn't exactly break out on Saturday, but it did enough to snap a season-long four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Padres in front of a sellout crowd at Busch Stadium.

Recent Cardinals callup Tommy Pham scored the go-ahead run in the eighth after reaching on an Alexi Amarista error, swiping second -- his first Major League steal -- moving to third on a groundout and sliding safely into home on Jhonny Peralta's sacrifice fly. Padres reliever Brandon Maurer took the loss despite not allowing a hit in his inning of work.

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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.

ICYMI: Gyorko, Cashner step up in win over Cards

ICYMI: Gyorko, Cashner step up in win over Cards

Sometimes in baseball the right thing happens at the right time in such a way that it seems as though the game repeats itself on a regular basis. Enter Padres second baseman, Jedd Gyorko. Two weeks ago, Gyorko hit a game-winning RBI-single into left field at Southwest University Park in the 9th inning to propel the El Paso Chihuahuas to a walk-off victory in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League on June 20th. Fast forward to Friday night and once again Gyorko came up big with a game-winning RBI single into left-field - this time at Busch Stadium - in the 9th inning to propel the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. How's that for history repeating itself?

The Padres, who became the first team in the National League to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in back-to-back games this season, won a tight contest on Friday night thanks to timely hitting and a strong pitching performance by starter Andrew Cashner. Cashner deliver 6.0 innings of one-run baseball, allowing only one earned run on three hits while striking out three on 91 pitches. Although Cashner earned a no-decision in Friday's pitching duel against the Cards, his performance was enough to garner him a quality start and also keep his team in the game long enough to come out on top three innings later. The Padres bullpen also stepped up on Friday as Brandon Maurer, Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel combined for three shutout innings in relief of Cashner; Kimbrel went on to collect his 21st save of the season while Benoit's record improved to 5-3 on the year.

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Rea struggles in his Triple-A debut

Streaking Single-A Fort Wayne moves to top of Midwest League

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

Right-handed starting pitcher Colin Rea had a rough outings Friday night in his first outing since being promoted to Triple-A El Paso.

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After tight battle, Padres top Cardinals

After tight battle, Padres top Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko delivered a game-tying home run and the game-winning single to send San Diego to a 2-1 win over St. Louis in front of a sellout crowd at Busch Stadium. St. Louis has now lost four straight, its longest losing streak of the season.

Gyorko took Cards starter Michael Wacha deep in the seventh for his third home run of the season and then stepped to the plate against Trevor Rosenthal after Yangervis Solarte's one-out triple in the ninth. Rosenthal, who hadn't been scored upon since May 3, served up the RBI single on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.

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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.

Gyorko finds time in Triple-A well spent

Gyorko finds time in Triple-A well spent

ST. LOUIS -- Last week, second baseman Jedd Gyorko was playing for Triple-A El Paso in Tacoma, trying to remedy the offensive struggles that led to his demotion on June 10. On Friday, three days after he returned to San Diego's lineup, Gyorko put a few things he's been working on to good use in a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Gyorko hit a homer in the seventh inning off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha to tie the score, then knocked in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning off closer Trevor Rosenthal, stunning the sold-out crowd of 47,330.

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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.

Alonso in lead-off slot makes perfect sense when you look at the numbers

Venable a .435 hitter in St. Louis

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

From reading my emails and twitter responses, a lot of Padres fans were stunned Friday when they read the starting lineup with first baseman Yonder Alonso hitting in the lead-off spot for the first time in his Major League career.

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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.

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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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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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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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? 

Continue Reading on Cut4

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.

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.

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.