SAN DIEGO -- In a continuing effort to try to jump-start the offense of Ryan Ludwick, Padres manager Bud Black slid the outfielder down to seventh in the batting order for the first time this season for Sunday's series finale against the Giants at PETCO Park.
It's the second time in eight days that Ludwick has found himself in a new place in the order, as he was moved from the cleanup spot to the No. 3 hole on Sept. 4. In seven games batting third, Ludwick posted a .174 average.
The switch, Black said, is simply designed to take some pressure off the outfielder.
"Luddy's had some great at-bats with us since he's been here, but I've noticed a little bit of a press the last few days," Black said "Maybe this will just give him a little bit of an exhale. We need him, and I know he's going to provide some big hits for us."
Ludwick is batting .200 in 30 at-bats in September and .216 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 38 games overall since coming over from the Cardinals in a deal at the Trade Deadline.
"When you move a guy, it just gives him sort of a different perspective," Black said. "I think there is a perception when you hit [third or fourth], there's an expectation level. A guy like Luddy who came over here thinking, 'They traded for me,' all that stuff, sometimes can weigh on a player."