Black hopes Cabrera's return will boost offense

Black hopes Cabrera's return will boost offense

Black hopes Cabrera's return will boost offense

BOSTON -- The Padres entered Thursday's game against the Red Sox on a five-game losing streak, a funk that's been permeated by a notable offensive slide.

In their last five games, the Padres have scored five runs, including one in Wednesday's 2-1 loss against the Red Sox.

There's help on the way, though.

On Friday, the Padres will reinstate shortstop Everth Cabrera from the disabled list. He's missed the last 17 games with a strained left hamstring. Manager Bud Black has called Cabrera "arguably the team's MVP" and he hopes his return can provide a spark the team needs.

"He was playing extremely well, he was a catalyst," Black said. "He was very instrumental is us climbing over .500. His on-base percentage, his defense have both been so solid. His stolen bases, you can measure just statistically what he's meant to us."

Cabrera was hitting .305 with a .382 on-base percentage and a National League-best 31 steals when he landed on the disabled list.

Down four position players -- second baseman Jedd Gyorko, first baseman Yonder Alonso, center fielder Cameron Maybin and shortstop Everth Cabrera -- the Padres don't have much in the way of depth. And it's showed recently, as it's been difficult to give position players a breather in this stretch.

"When you're not scoring, things look a little flat," Black said. "We're playing hard, we're just not scoring runs in the last five games."

The Padres will need to make a roster move Friday when Cabrera joins the team. The Padres have been carrying 13 pitchers, and there's a good chance they'll reduce that number to 12 in order to add a player to Black's bench mix.

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.