The San Diego Padres are playing much better baseball recently after a deplorable 19-40 start. They are 21-15 over their last 36 games. After scoring seven or more runs only six times in the season's first 70 games, they have done it 11 times in their last 25 games, which explains their 16-9 record over the span. Padres manager Bud Black says the improvement is due to a numbers of factors. "The starting pitchers have kept us in games," Black said. "The bullpen has been outstanding. Overall, we've played good defense. And our hitting has improved." However, in Friday night's 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park, right-handed starter Jason Marquis allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits in five innings, and the defense committed three errors for the first time since April 27. This time the offense came to the rescue, the 13-hit attack including homers by Carlos Quentin, Yasmani Grandal and Chase Headley. Quentin had three hits. Grandal, Headley, Chris Denorfia and Everth Cabrera all had two. "That's what it takes when teams win," Black said. "They win a lot of different ways. Tonight our offense and bullpen (four scoreless innings) picked up Jason and our defense. Last night it was the pitching of Edinson Volquez (a one-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over Houston) that picked up the hitting."
- San Diego Padres