Upton's quad feeling 'much better'

Padres using caution, keep left fielder out of Sunday's lineup

Upton's quad feeling 'much better'

CHICAGO -- Left fielder Justin Upton, who strained his left quad in the ninth inning against the Cubs on Saturday, wasn't in the lineup on Sunday but said his leg was feeling "much better."

"I got a lot of treatment yesterday after the game and getting some treatment this morning. It's feeling pretty good," Upton said.

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

Padres rally late, but fall in extras

Padres rally late, but fall in extras

Starlin Castro knocked in the game-winning run in the 11th inning with a bases-loaded single on Saturday as the Cubs edged the Padres, 7-6, before a crowd of 33,958 at Wrigley Field.

"Last year and the year before, we lost a lot of games like that," Castro said. "We played a lot of extra-inning games and lost. We play more than nine and we keep fighting and try to win."

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

Kemp launches first homer with Padres

Kemp launches first homer with Padres

CHICAGO -- Matt Kemp has been coming to Wrigley Field since 2006 and it's taken him this long to finally figure out the place.

"I've hit a lot of balls here in my career where they didn't go anywhere," Kemp said Saturday, after the Cubs pinned a 7-6 loss on the Padres in 11 innings. "You never know here."

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

Kimbrel not at his best in first loss with Padres

Kimbrel not at his best in first loss with Padres

CHICAGO -- Craig Kimbrel spent part of his postgame on a stationary bike in the tiny visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Saturday, pedaling away as part of his workout routine as if he might be trying to get away from something or someone.

At the very least, the Padres' closer was certainly ready to distance himself from a fitful ending to the Padres' 7-6 loss in 11 innings to the Cubs.

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

Hedges off to hot start with Triple-A El Paso

Hedges off to hot start with Triple-A El Paso

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

Austin Hedges hit his second home run in three games, and Bryce Morrow and Elliot Morris were sharp in their second straight starts Saturday night in the upper levels of the Padres' farm system.

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Five thoughts: Padres working on jelling as a team

Five thoughts: Padres working on jelling as a team

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

Poor defense goes beyond errors.

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Norris' defense providing good early returns

Entering Saturday's game against Cubs, catcher had thrown out six runners

Norris' defense providing good early returns

CHICAGO -- Chances are that no matter how much time passes, Padres catcher Derek Norris will always remember that American League Wild Card game last October when, playing for the A's, the Royals ran wild on him and the Oakland pitchers.

Norris, who entered that game after Geovany Soto left with a thumb injury, was witness to the speedy Royals swiping seven bases, six while Norris was in the game. The Royals won, 9-8, a victory that kick-started Kansas City's run to the World Series.

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

Opposite-field approach pays off for Middlebrooks

Both of third baseman's 2015 homers have been to right field

Opposite-field approach pays off for Middlebrooks

CHICAGO -- When Will Middlebrooks connected for a two-run home run in the fourth inning on Friday, it marked the second time this season the right-handed hitter has gone the other way.

This wasn't by accident, he said.

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

Myers' go-ahead blast lifts Padres over Cubs

Myers' go-ahead blast lifts Padres over Cubs

CHICAGO -- In a game that featured the highly anticipated Major League debut of Cubs rookie Kris Bryant, San Diego's Wil Myers stole the show with a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Padres topped the Cubs, 5-4, on Friday afternoon before a crowd of 32,138 at Wrigley Field.

Bryant, promoted Friday from Triple-A Iowa, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The third baseman started a double play and possibly saved a run by snagging a line drive with a runner on first base in the fifth inning. Bryant also grounded out to end the seventh with two on. More >

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

Taking advantage of opportunity, Myers stays hot

Padres leadoff hitter takes close ball in seventh, launches go-ahead homer

Taking advantage of opportunity, Myers stays hot

CHICAGO -- Wil Myers saw four pitches in his seventh inning at-bat against Cubs reliever Brian Schlitter, and all four came with a high heat warning.

First, there was a 96-mph swinging strike, followed by a 95-mph heater than Myers looked at for a strike. Then came another fastball, this one 96 mph that was close, a pitch Myers laid off.

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

5 thoughts: Pitchers not walking a tightrope

5 thoughts: Pitchers not walking a tightrope

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

Pitchers won't talk about it publicly, but it is no fun pitching on a team that can't score.

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Decker's homer, 3 RBIs lift El Paso to win

Decker's homer, 3 RBIs lift El Paso to win

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

Cody Decker hit a two-run homer and drew a tie-breaking, bases-loaded walk Friday night to lead Triple-A El Paso a 4-2 win at Tacoma.

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Without sharpest stuff, Shields aids winning effort

Padres ace allows four runs (three earned), strikes out nine over six frames

Without sharpest stuff, Shields aids winning effort

CHICAGO -- There were a few lamentable moments for Padres pitcher James Shields to sort through in his first start at Wrigley Field on Friday.

"I didn't have the greatest stuff today. I wasn't locating as well as I wanted to; I was behind in the count all day," Shields said.

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

Kennedy improving in recovery from hamstring injury

Padres starter eligible to return from disabled list on April 25

Kennedy improving in recovery from hamstring injury

CHICAGO -- Pitcher Ian Kennedy cleared another hurdle in his recovery from a strained left hamstring on Friday, as he threw between 25-30 pitches in a bullpen session at Wrigley Field.

Kennedy, who threw a similar session on Wednesday in San Diego, will head to Arizona for a Minor League rehab start on Monday with the expectation that if all goes well, the team will activate him from the disabled list when he's eligible on April 25.

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

Shift doing little to slow down Alonso

Padres first baseman off to hot start despite opponents' defensive measures

Shift doing little to slow down Alonso

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

All three of the Padres' opponents this season have employed a defensive shift against Yonder Alonso, positioning three infielders on the right side.

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Hedges, Wallace and Almonte lead way for El Paso

Hedges, Wallace and Almonte lead way for El Paso

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

Austin Hedges, Brett Wallace and Abraham Almonte continued their hot hitting Thursday night, leading Triple-A El Paso to a 10-4 win over Reno in a Pacific Coast League game at Southwest University Park.

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Venable not quick to give up on old glove

Padres outfielder received mitt from Roberts, who first used the glove in '05

Venable not quick to give up on old glove

SAN DIEGO -- When Will Venable peers into his trusted glove, a Rawlings PROS601KB that has seen better days, he doesn't see the tear in the pocket staring back at him, the replacement laces, restrung many times over, or the well-worn cracks that suggest his glove is ready to be put out to pasture.

He sees an old friend.

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

Padres aim to carry momentum on to seven-game trek

Padres aim to carry momentum on to seven-game trek

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

The Padres have passed the first tests of the season.

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J-Uptown funk: Red-hot Upton proving his worth in San Diego

J-Uptown funk: Red-hot Upton proving his worth in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- Since playing his last season for the D-backs in 2012, Justin Upton has tormented his old team, though the Padres' left fielder was quick to point out Wednesday that despite appearances, it's not anything personal.

"I'm trying to torment every team we play," Upton said, smiling.

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

Padres top D-backs on Upton's late homer

Padres top D-backs on Upton's late homer

SAN DIEGO -- Justin Upton homered with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday night, putting the Padres on top for good in a 3-2 victory over the D-backs at Petco Park.

Upton's home run, his third of the season, came on the first pitch he saw from D-backs relief pitcher Randall Delgado.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hedges has homer, three hits at Triple-A

Hedges has homer, three hits at Triple-A

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

Catcher Austin Hedges and center fielder Michael Gettys, two of the Padres' top prospects, had three hits apiece Wednesday night for their respective clubs.

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Ross, Padres honor Jackie's immense legacy

Ross, Padres honor Jackie's immense legacy

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Tyson Ross got a head start on celebrating Jackie Robinson Day, as he made a stop at the nearby Monarch School on Tuesday.

This wasn't Ross' first trip to the Monarch School, a school for children affected by homelessness. But it was his first chance to speak to students about Robinson's legacy, accomplishments and values.

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

Kennedy inching closer to Minor League rehab start

Kennedy inching closer to Minor League rehab start

SAN DIEGO -- Ian Kennedy, six days removed from suffering a left hamstring strain in his first start, got back on a mound on Wednesday, throwing a bullpen session at Petco Park.

Kennedy, currently on the 15-day disabled list, will throw another bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field, as the Padres prepare for a three-game series against the Cubs.

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

Gyorko uses time off to tinker with swing mechanics

Gyorko uses time off to tinker with swing mechanics

SAN DIEGO -- After getting three consecutive days off to clear his head and work on swing mechanics, Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko was back in the lineup Wednesday against the D-backs.

Gyorko, who has three hits in his first 21 at-bats of the season entering Wednesday's game, has worked closely during pregame sessions with hitting coach Mark Kotsay and assistant hitting coach Alonzo Powell since his last start on Saturday.

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

Padres about to have wealth of rotation options

With Kennedy, JJ on the mend, manager Black faces tough decisions

Padres about to have wealth of rotation options

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

Bud Black has a way of dealing with questions pertaining to future roster decisions. When asked about where Melvin Upton Jr. will play when he is ready to return from a foot injury sometime next month, Black said: "These things have a way of working themselves out."

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Despaigne making the most of his rotation stint

Despaigne making the most of his rotation stint

SAN DIEGO -- Shortly after the Padres broke camp in Arizona, and before the regular season, San Diego manager Bud Black called Odrisamer Despaigne into his office to inform him he wouldn't be the team's fifth starter.

"He took it fine. He's a competitor," Black recalled. "We explained it to him that this is a long season, and we're going to need contributions from everybody at some point along the way."

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