MIAMI -- When Logan Forsythe was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on June 10, the Padres were fourth in the National League West with a 29-34 record.
Seventeen games later, San Diego is in the midst of an 11-6 run that includes series sweeps of the NL East-leading Braves and NL West-leading D-backs. The Padres boast a 40-40 record and entered Saturday trailing Arizona by only 2 1/2 games.
San Diego has been winning despite the absence of several key players, including second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin.
Manager Bud Black was quick to credit Forsythe -- Gyorko's replacement -- as a key cog in the Padres' recent run.
"He's been a big part of us climbing back into this," Black said. "We've missed [shortstop Everth Cabrera], we've missed Jedd, we've missed [first baseman] Yonder [Alonso]. Logan and Kyle [Blanks] have done really well getting consistent playing time."
Forsythe entered Saturday batting .303 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, 32 totals bases and nine runs in 17 games. All three of his homers have either tied a game or given the Padres a lead, including a two-run shot in a 9-2 victory over the Marlins on Friday.
Although he committed two costly errors that allowed the decisive runs to score in a 7-5 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday, Forsythe has otherwise played good defense, including two diving catches at second and in left field this month.
When hearing of Black's praise, Forsythe was quick to deflect the spotlight.
"I don't really have a take on that," Forsythe said. "We've just been playing really good baseball together all around. Everybody's stepping up from the pitching, defense, offensively. Guys are starting to play a lot better, and we're starting to play a lot better together. That's been a big key."
Forsythe has also shown a tendency to spray the ball around the field. Three of his last five hits have gone to center or right field, and seven of the right-handed hitter's 11 RBIs have been to either center or the opposite field.
"When Logan's using the center of the field and pulling the sticks middle in, that's a great sign," Black said.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less