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Tekotte taking in the big league atmosphere

Tekotte taking in the big league atmosphere

Tekotte taking in the big league atmosphere
SAN DIEGO -- When Blake Tekotte was called up in late May, he received some advice from former Major Leaguer and two-time All-Star Scott Cooper.

Cooper played for St. Louis in 1995, about an hour and a half from where Tekotte grew up, and the two hit together this offseason.

"He was just really happy for me whenever I got called up, and he just said, 'Enjoy every minute of it, because it goes fast,' " Tekotte said. "So I've been trying to not take anything for granted ... and I'm just trying to take it all in."

That includes the big moments, such as his first Major League hit, against Washington on May 28, when he went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a walk. He was the first Padre to collect multiple hits in his first career start since Luis Durango did so on Sept. 16, 2009, against the D-backs.

But he's also taking in the smaller moments, such as explaining the pronunciation of his last name.

"Especially when I first got here, everybody was like, 'How do you say it?' But yeah, 'TEE-koah-te," he said, pronouncing each syllable. "I've heard everything in the book, so I'm kind of used to it."

Tekotte has played in nine games with the Padres, and though he's done his best to soak up veteran wisdom and not draw unwanted attention, he has tried to savor the big league atmosphere.

"It's awesome," he said. "It's definitely something you can get used to, compared to Minor League living. These guys have been helping me out quite a bit. You'd rather be seen than heard around here, especially if you're younger."

Tekotte's big league stint started well. After his first five games, he was batting .300, but he has gone 0-for-10 at the plate in his last four outings, dropping his average to .167.

Of course, with such a small sample size, batting average isn't a great tell. Tekotte said that he's just gotten a little away from the approach that got him to the Majors.

"I've been a little anxious, swinging at some bad pitches, trying to do too much, I think," he said. "Right now I'm slowing the game down, trying to see [the ball] and hit it instead of thinking that something is wrong with my swing.

"I just have to stay within myself."

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