Alonso encouraged by recent stretch of solid contact

Alonso encouraged by recent stretch of solid contact

PEORIA, Ariz. -- First baseman Yonder Alonso has been flirting with a batting average around .200 for most of the spring, but he sounded more encouraged than discouraged on Monday.

"I think the past week or so, you're seeing more regular at-bats instead of playing one day and sitting a game out and then playing again," Alonso said. "Now, I'm getting consistent at-bats and having better at-bats."

Alonso, who entered Monday's game against the Cubs hitting .190, is pleased with the amount of hard contact he's had in the last week.

On Sunday against the Angels, he went 0-for-2 with a walk, though he hit a ball hard to center field that Vernon Wells tracked down. He also grounded out hard to Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo.

"You're seeing the better swings are starting to show up," said Padres manager Bud Black.

Alonso is shooting for those better swings with two weeks until Opening Day, when the Padres face the Mets at Citi Field on April 1.

"I talked to [teammate Mark] Kotsay three or four days ago, and he said this was the perfect time to get hot," Alonso said. "I'm seeing the ball better, making more consistent contact. For me, it's just a matter of playing every day and getting my timing back."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.