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Alonso turning corner after slow start at plate

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PHILADELPHIA -- Yonder Alonso's .210 batting average entering Tuesday's series opener against the Phillies doesn't tell the whole story.

The Padres' first baseman had several stints on the interstate early in the season and was hitting as low as .157 on May 8. But, Alonso has fared better from the batter's box since. Over his last 27 games, he hit .278 (25-for-90) with five homers and 14 RBIs.

Alonso went the first month and a half of the season without a homer, but Padres manager Bud Black thinks Alonso's getting on base is more indicative that he's turning things around than the recent power surge.

"I think last year, with the wrist problem, it had something to do with his power. And he missed a lot of games last year," Black said. "And I don't think anybody thought of Yonder, even out of the Draft, as a pure home run hitter. But he's got power to hit home runs. Yonder is more of a gap-to-gap, line-drive hitter. He gets into trouble when he tries to hit homers, and when he tries to pull the ball.

Alonso's also done well of late when he has come to the plate with runners in scoring position. In his previous 26 games, he hit .294 (5-for-17) in those situations.

"I would prefer line drive to left-center, line drive to right-center, line drives all over the park with a sprinkled in homer," Black said.

Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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