Padres' early barrage backs strong Despaigne

Padres' early barrage backs strong Despaigne

DENVER -- The Padres arrived in Coors Field with their bats a-blazing, scoring all they needed in a five-run first and three times scoring more runs in an inning than the Rockies scored all night Monday. San Diego took the series opener, 14-3, hitting the Rockies hard in a park where they dominated the Friars in 2014.

The nine runs in the first two innings spoiled the return of Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa, who opened the season on the disabled list with a left groin strain. The nine runs matched a career high for De La Rosa and the two innings marked the shortest outing ever at Coors Field for the starter.

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Jack Etkin and Owen Perkins are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres come out swinging, pile up hits in Colorado

Friars score nine runs in first two frames; Despaigne gets first knock

Padres come out swinging, pile up hits in Colorado

DENVER -- It may be a new-look lineup for the Padres, but manager Bud Black came to Coors Field with a batting order stacked with hitters who know the pleasure to be taken from getting in a groove at the Rockies' mile-high ballpark. In Monday's 14-3 victory, the Friars erupted for a season high in runs, pouncing on starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa for nine in the first two innings.

San Diego batted around in the first frame, putting up five runs on six hits. In the second inning, they scored four runs on three hits, an error and a misread drive to center, and in the fifth inning they put up another five-spot on five hits.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kennedy's extended spring start goes well

Padres right-hander hurls six innings, has 'no issues' with hamstring

Kennedy's extended spring start goes well

DENVER -- Ian Kennedy had a promising appearance Monday in extended spring camp in Arizona, throwing six innings and 81 pitches. He has been on the disabled list since leaving his start in the fourth game of the season after 2 1/3 innings and 33 pitches in the Padres' home opener against San Francisco.

"He looked good, [threw] all his pitches," manager Bud Black said, relaying the report he got from those who saw Kennedy pitch in Arizona. "He had a few strikeouts. They nicked him for a couple runs, but overall he's throwing the ball good, no issues with the hamstring."

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New teammates giving Alonso offensive boost

Padres first baseman credits Upton, Kemp for being 'rock of this team'

New teammates giving Alonso offensive boost

DENVER -- A pair of major offseason trades have already reaped dividends for the Padres as they entered the season's third week at 8-5 and a game and a half behind the Dodgers.

Outfielders Justin Upton and Matt Kemp -- acquired in respective trades with the Braves and Dodgers -- entered Monday hitting a combined .333 with four home runs and 17 RBIs as the three- and four-hole hitters. But their presence is felt up and down the lineup.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morrow set for reintroduction to Coors Field

Morrow set for reintroduction to Coors Field

Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek (1-0, 1.80) will make his third start and second at Coors Field on Tuesday, and Padres right-hander Brandon Morrow (0-0, 1.29) will start there for the first time in almost five years.

Matzek started the Rockies' home opener April 10 against the Cubs and allowed nine baserunners in four-plus innings but just one run. Matzek was far more effective Wednesday when held the Giants to one run in six innings at San Francisco in the Rockies' 4-2 win.

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Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres off to captivating start in 2015

Play is far from perfect, but San Diego has found the power to thrill

Padres off to captivating start in 2015

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

If we've learned one thing about the 2015 Padres after 13 games, it's that they are definitely not boring.

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Dickerson, Lindsay pace El Paso in rally

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

Designated hitter Alex Dickerson and third baseman Taylor Lindsey hit bases-loaded triples Sunday, and first baseman Tommy Medica had three hits as Triple-A El Paso rallied to a 9-7 win over Tacoma to move into a tie for first place in the Pacific Coast League's Pacific Southern division.

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Cashner regroups after rough first, gets first win

Despite two Padres errors, righty tosses solid six innings

Cashner regroups after rough first, gets first win

CHICAGO -- Going into his start Sunday, Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner was well aware that two of the team's top relievers, Dale Thayer and closer Craig Kimbrel, would be down because of frequent usage over the past few games.

So what happened in the first inning at Wrigley Field? The Padres committed two errors to extend the inning, which resulted in a heavy workload for Cashner, who needed 33 pitches to get three outs.

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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.

Middlebrooks, Solarte homer in Padres' series win

Middlebrooks, Solarte homer in Padres' series win

CHICAGO -- Yangervis Solarte's two-run home run in the seventh inning gave the Padres some breathing room on Sunday in their 5-2 victory over the Cubs before a crowd of 29,113 at Wrigley Field.

San Diego pitcher Andrew Cashner allowed two runs, both unearned, on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Cashner hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 12 innings.

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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.

Different bullpen mix locks down Padres win

Maurer, Kelley, Benoit close out victory with usual relievers out

Different bullpen mix locks down Padres win

CHICAGO -- The Padres closed out their 5-2 victory over the Cubs in slightly unusual fashion Sunday, as reliever Dale Thayer and closer Craig Kimbrel remained bundled in their jackets on a cold and drizzly afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Both were relegated to the bench because of frequent usage in recent days. As it turned out, the team didn't need either of them.

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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 like Myers' aggressive leadoff approach

Although not prototypical, center fielder contributes quality at-bats

Padres like Myers' aggressive leadoff approach

CHICAGO -- In his first 51 plate appearances this season, Padres' leadoff hitter, center fielder Wil Myers, hasn't taken a walk and has seen the fifth fewest pitches per plate appearance among National League leadoff hitters (3.40).

But instead of lamenting what Myers doesn't bring to the leadoff spot, the team likes what Myers does have to offer at the top of the order.

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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.

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.

Little Leaguers participate in clinic at Petco Park

Padres, MLB alumni put on event that includes several former players

Little Leaguers participate in clinic at Petco Park

SAN DIEGO -- On a Sunday afternoon when the Padres were out of town facing the Cubs, there was still baseball being played on the field at Petco Park. In this case, it was the Legends for Youth Baseball Clinic put on by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association for close to 250 lucky Little Leaguers.

Former Major League greats such as Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones, two-time All Star Blue Moon Odom and longtime Padres hitting coach Merv Rettenmund participated in the clinic to teach kids some baseball fundamentals in hitting, fielding, pitching, running, and general life skills. Other former players participating in the two-hour clinic were two-time World Series champion Jay Johnstone, Kurt Bevacqua, Craig Chamberlain, Gene Locklear, Jim Merritt, Phil Ouellette, Gary Ryerson and Derrel Thomas.

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Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. 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.

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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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.

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.