The San Diego Padres may be among the worst offensive teams in the NL, but they’ve been the best for nearly two weeks.
The Padres look to continue their vastly improved hitting when they conclude this three-game series with the sputtering New York Mets on Wednesday night.
San Diego (55-69) is last in the NL West, due to mostly to an offense which ranks toward the bottom of the league with a .240 average and 3.7 runs per game.
The Padres, however, are showing promise at the plate during a 7-5 stretch, hitting .304 while scoring 6.8 runs per contest - both NL highs in that span.
They’ve collected 25 hits in two games, 15 coming in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over the Mets.
“I don’t think there is one thing,” manager Bud Black said. “If you look at where we were earlier in the year, I think it was bound to turn around. I think there is heightened awareness of situational hitting.”
Hundley, hitting .254, is 9 for 16 in four games after missing over a month with a strained right elbow. He has five hits in this series, connecting for a pair of triples, an RBI and two runs Tuesday.
“I’m not going to make a living out of that,” Hundley said of his career high in triples. “It was awesome, but it was a miracle.”
Blanks has a .386 average with three homers and 10 RBIs in 12 games. He’s hitting .429 in six meetings with the Mets during that stretch, getting four hits over the last two.
Mat Latos(notes) (6-11, 3.80 ERA) would like to see the improved offense continue when he takes the mound for the Padres. Latos has won both of his starts versus the Mets, yielding three runs and six hits with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings.
The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts for a 3.22 ERA, but has lost three of five decisions during that span.
“I don’t even pay attention to any of that,” Latos told the team’s official website. “I’m not really worried about it. I’m just worried about putting together some good outings, backing them up one after another, and giving us a chance to win.”
He put his team in position to win Friday, allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings before reliever John Spence surrendered three runs in the eighth in a 5-3 loss at Cincinnati.
The Padres haven’t lost a home series to the Mets since being swept in three games at Qualcomm Stadium in May 2002. They’ve won 11 of the last 14 at Petco Park.
The rookie right-hander is 3-4 with a 5.61 ERA in nine starts after opening the season 7-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 13 games.
“I’ve lost confidence the last couple weeks,” Gee told the team’s official website. “And I’ve got to gain it back.
“The easiest thing to do is sit here and beat yourself up. Everybody goes through struggles. It’s the people that can come out of it that succeed.”
Gee was charged with a 4-3 loss to Arizona on Friday. He allowed four runs in the first two innings, but held the Diamondbacks scoreless in the next three.