Now Commenting On:

Spence focused on throwing quality strikes

Spence focused on throwing quality strikes

Spence focused on throwing quality strikes
LOS ANGELES -- Lost in Saturday's power display by Matt Kemp were the two scoreless innings of work from Padres left-handed reliever Josh Spence.

Better still was Spence's ball-strike ratio in the outing: 25 pitches and 18 strikes, as he allowed one hit with no walks and one strikeout.

"It's not just about throwing strikes but it's about throwing quality strikes," Spence said. "I'm just trying to get ahead of the hitters. Part of the reason I think I'm part of his bullpen is that I don't walk guys. ... I think I got away from that a little last year."

Spence, 24, was promoted from Double-A San Antonio last June and retired the first 11 batters that he faced and also retired the first batter he faced in each of his first 15 appearances.

Spence ran into trouble in the month of August when he walked 11 batters in 11 innings.

"He burst onto the scene and had success but by the end of the season, the walk had come into play and the ball-strike ratio wasn't where he wanted it," said Padres manager Bud Black.

"We talked about that this spring, about being a little more consistent with his stuff in the strike zone. I think last night [Saturday] was a great example of that."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español