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Versatile Blanks gives Padres a power surge

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SEATTLE -- Stick Kyle Blanks in the starting lineup, and good things typically happen. That's certainly been the case since Blanks joined the team on April 14 from Triple-A Tucson.

Going into Monday's game against the Mariners, Blanks was hitting .294 (20-for-68) with four doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs and a .888 OPS in the 19 games he's started in 2013. He's 1-for-6 when entering a game as a substitute.

Blanks got the start on Monday against the Mariners in right field.

"Kyle is doing good," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's getting his lefties and we're picking spots for Kyle."

Blanks entered the game hitting .344 in 38 plate appearances against lefties and .238 against righties in 50 plate appearances. He's also hitting .458 with 10 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

Since he can play left field, right field and first base, Blanks gives Black some versatility, like other players on the bench such as Alexi Amarista, who can play the outfield and infield.

"The versatility of our position-player group is advantageous," Black said. "They're doing great."

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

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