DENVER -- The Padres' offensive breakout in Monday's series opener against the Rockies reflected Nick Hundley's own emergence from a slump that saw him go 0-for-21 before taking off on his 4-for-7 tear over the last two games. He was the last Major Leaguer with 25 or more plate appearances to record a hit when he recorded an infield single in the second inning of Sunday's game in Los Angeles.
Hundley had a strong Spring Training, hitting .432 (16-for-37) in the Cactus League, and after hitting .288 in 82 games for the Padres in 2011, he knew it was just a matter of time before he found his groove again.
"Early on, obviously, coming out of the spring that I did have, it wasn't how I envisioned the first week of the season to go, but you grind through those bumps in the road," Hundley said. "It's not like I was going to be perfect."
Hundley credited Mark Kotsay's return from the disabled list Monday with helping awaken the Friars' offense. Kotsay advised the hitters to "get back to our confident swings ... don't panic," and the advice seemed to help Hundley along with the entire lineup, which knocked a season-high 14 hits.
"I've done the same thing every single day, no matter if I'm going good or going bad," Hundley said. "It's something that a lot of veteran guys that I've played with have taught me. Just keep going. I'm not here to switch it up. I'm not here to totally change what I'm doing. I'm here to keep grinding, and whether it's good or bad, I'm going to be the same guy every single day."
After Hundley's 3-for-5 Monday when he matched a career-high three RBIs, the Padres will be happy to see that guy in the lineup every day.