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Padres pleased to turn calendar to May

Padres pleased to turn calendar to May

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PHILADELPHIA -- The month of May certainly couldn't get here quick enough for the Padres, who after winning on Opening Day on March 31 proceeded to go 10-17 for the month of April.

That's the worst mark for an April for the Padres since they went 7-17 in 1994.

May has been kind to the Padres, who have a winning record during the month over the last three seasons, going 22-6 in 2005, 19-10 in '06 and 18-9 last season, when they recovered well from a 13-13 start.

But figuring out precisely why May has been so good to the Padres isn't easy. Starting pitcher Chris Young said there are probably a lot of factors that go into it.

"It's probably one of those stats where a lot of small things go into it," he said. "I do not think there's one thing you can attribute it to. Maybe it's being out of the division, going to different ballparks that might suit us better, as a pitching staff having our arm strength build up, and the weather warms up a little more."

Last season, after playing 23 of 26 games against National League West foes in April, the Padres didn't play a single game against NL West teams in May. Instead, they won series from Washington, Florida, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Seattle, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.

Of those eight teams, only the Mariners, Cubs and Brewers finished the regular season above .500.

The Padres only play five games against NL West teams this month, after going just 7-13 against the Dodgers, D-backs, Giants and Rockies in April.

"From a timing standpoint, maybe it's scheduling, playing teams that you match up better with," Padres shortstop Khalil Greene said. "I think that everyone tries to wrap their head around why you've played poorly or played well."

Greene, who entered Thursday's game hitting .224, won't blame his early struggles on the calendar. He hit .265 last April and .200 the year before.

"For me, it's takes me longer to feel where I need to be, to stay back and get consistent at-bats," he said. "You still get 60-70 at-bats in Spring Training, but you're not facing everyone's No. 1 or their closer. I don't think it's ever just one thing."

This is why Young is mostly dismissive of the theories as to why the team has played better in May.

"To be honest ... I don't buy into any of them. We're all capable Major League players. We're a good Major League team," Young said. "I don't see any reason why we have to go through a bad April to have a good May."

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

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