Defense much improved from ugly start

Defense much improved from ugly start

SAN DIEGO -- One of the reasons for the Padres slow start, injuries aide, was their porous defense.

How bad was it?

The Padres made 26 errors in the first 22 games of the season.

"It was ugly in April," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I told you guys we're going to play better."

Black was right. The Padres have made one error in their past 11 games, entering Sunday's game against the D-backs, with none in their past eight games.

Since May 1, the Padres are tied with the Reds and Twins for the fewest errors (15) in the Major Leagues -- a far cry from where they were in April.

"We have played good the last 25 games or so defensively, fundamentally much better. The infield has been better, outfield play has been better. I like what I'm seeing as far as playing a clean game," Black said. "We are doing better. We're making the plays we should make."

First baseman Yonder Alonso has five errors but none since April 29. Third baseman Chase Headley has four errors but none since May 14. Outfielder Will Venable has four errors but none since April 24.

"We've worked on things with a few guys," said Padres third-base coach Glenn Hoffman, who works with the infielders. "The priority has been set back on it. We knew that we were better than the start that we had."