It hardly showed Thursday, as the Netherlands strung together 14 hits en route to a 9-3 victory over the Padres before a crowd of 3,142 at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Starting slow, and possibly still feeling the effects of their long flight, the Netherlands scored seven runs over the last four innings to pull away from the Padres.
"They were on the fastball," said Padres manager Bud Black. "And then we threw them some breaking balls and they were on them, too. They had some good swings."
Nine different players had hits and Andruw Jones reached base three times, hitting a home run to give the Dutch their first run of the game.
Roger Bernadina, Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Schoop, Randolph Oduber and Jones each had two hits in the victory, the first game the Netherlands has played since dropping a 10-6 decision to Japan in Tokyo on Tuesday. The team then left immediately for Phoenix.
The Netherlands, which has already advanced to the championship round of the World Baseball Classic on March 18 in San Francisco, will face the Mariners on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Peoria Sports Complex.
They'll do so, Meulens said, with an offense that appears to be getting better and better as the Classic goes on.
"The last three or four games, hitters started to get their timing down," he said. "The guys are having good at-bats and putting the ball in play."
Jones, who got the start as designated hitter for the Dutch, drilled a home run to start the second inning and then singled to center in the sixth inning.
The Padres couldn't match the offensive firepower of the Dutch, who had 10 extra-base hits, including eight doubles.
San Diego outfielder Jaff Decker came off the bench to hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning that cut the Netherlands lead to one run at 4-3.
But the Netherlands piled on late to pull away.
"They're hitting their stride," Meulens said of the offense.
San Diego pitcher Eric Stults, projected as the No. 4 starter in the rotation, allowed two runs on four hits over four innings. He threw 74 pitches in his longest outing of the spring. Stults had three strikeouts and walked one.
"I like his changeup and we saw the range of velocity on his fastball, which is what he does," Black said of Stults. "Overall, it was a productive night for Eric."
The home run by Jones was his first against the Padres since he did so during the regular season while he was with the Braves on July 6, 2007. Jones, who is currently under contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League, hit 434 home runs over a 17-year Major League career.
"But he's not trying to hit home runs," Meulens said. "He's getting a good pitch to hit. He's leading by example."
The Padres struck first, as leadoff hitter Everth Cabrera singled to left field and advanced to second on an error by Dutch shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Two batters later, Padres left fielder Jesus Guzman punched a changeup from starter Diegomar Markwell into right field for a 1-0 advantage.
Markwell, who got the victory against Cuba in Game 1 at Tokyo Dome, allowed no earned runs on two hits in his two innings of work
The Padres had a chance to break the game open in the third inning, as they put runners on second and third base with one out. But Dutch reliever Robbie Cordemans got Yonder Alonso on an infield pop-up and battled Jedd Gyorko in an eight-pitch at-bat before getting the Padres' second baseman looking at a called third strike to end the inning.
Cordemans pitched well in relief, tossing two scoreless innings with two hits allowed. He also walked two and struck out two.
Cabrera and Decker each had two hits.
Up Next: The Padres have a pair of split-squad games on Friday, as they host the Dodgers with one squad traveling to Surprise for a game against the Royals. Both games are set for 1:05 p.m. In the game in Peoria, Andrew Cashner gets the start. This will be the second start for Cashner, who is trying to win a spot in the rotation. He is scheduled to throw two innings. In Surprise, Jason Marquis will start. Projected to be the No. 3 starter in the rotation, Marquis will throw upwards of five innings. There's a chance three players who have been sidelined recently by injury -- outfielder Carlos Quentin (sore right knee), center fielder Cameron Maybin (lower back pain) and right fielder Will Venable (sore left side) could appear in either of the games.