07/21/11 8:00 PM ET
Padres option young Rizzo, recall Blanks
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
San Diego manager Bud Black indicated Thursday that Rizzo will rejoin Tucson after struggling with the Padres following a promising start after his promotion on June 9.
The Padres will promote outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks from Tucson, and he will join the team Friday in Philadelphia.
Rizzo had six hits in his last 56 at-bats, with 22 strikeouts. Overall, he had one home run, six RBIs and 15 walks in 34 games. He also struck out 36 times in those 98 at-bats.
"We felt it was time for Anthony to take a step back to take two forward," Black said. "Now it's time for him to go back and get his confidence back on track."
The Padres promoted Rizzo, who turns 22 on Aug. 8, from Tucson after he hit .365 with 16 home runs, 63 RBIs and a .444 on-base percentage in 52 games.
Rizzo reached base three times in his Major League debut against the Nationals on June 9, hitting a triple in his second at-bat.
Two days later, Rizzo, hit his first home run during a 2-1 loss to the Nats at PETCO Park.
But he struggled thereafter. He started Friday against the Marlins with a lot of friends and family on hand. Rizzo is a native of nearby Fort Lauderdale. Jesus Guzman started each of the last two games at first base, driving in six runs.
"This [struggling] is all new to me," said Rizzo, who has a .297 career batting average in the Minor Leagues. "This has never happened before.
"Now I've got to get my swing back. I know I'll be back up here."
Rizzo said that he felt his swing had gotten long during his time in San Diego.
"I'll get back to being short like I did the first week I came up here," he said.
Rizzo was one of four players obtained by the Padres from the Red Sox in the December deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston.
Blanks was hitting .351 in 34 games in Tucson, with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs, after he started the season with Double-A San Antonio, playing left field and first base.
Between the two stops, the 24-year-old Blanks is hitting .312 with 15 home runs, 52 RBIs and a .382 on-base percentage.
Blanks, the Padres' starting left fielder on Opening Day in 2010, saw his season cut short when he had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on July 30.
Pain-free Harang finds comfort zone
MIAMI -- Finally free of the nagging shoulder and right forearm pain that troubled him the last three seasons, Padres starting pitcher Aaron Harang feels as if he's reestablished himself as a frontline Major League pitcher.
Harang picked up his eighth victory of the season Wednesday as the Padres defeated the Marlins, 14-3, at Sun Life Stadium.
The eight victories lead the club and are the most by the first-year Padre since 2007, when he won 16 games with the Reds.
"It's a reassurance to myself that I'm still able to pitch at this level and be successful," Harang said. "I think I have shown people that I haven't lost it.
"My pitching has been speaking for itself."
Harang is 1-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three starts since coming off the disabled list on July 9, and ran his streak of scoreless innings to 16 innings before the Marlins scored a run in the fourth on Wednesday.
Saddled by shoulder soreness that first showed up in 2008, Harang -- a San Diego native -- went 18-38 over his final three seasons with the Reds. He's been a different pitcher this season, though.
"The thing that has shown up for me is the experience and that he knows what it takes to work your way through a game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "And coming back home, I think that's given him a new lease, as has working with [pitching coach Darren Balsley] on a few things mechanically.
"When you have a rough couple of years ... there is a pride factor that kicks in. I think that's where we are."
Padres glad to offer healthy dose of support
MIAMI -- Outfielder Cameron Maybin said it felt good to see the Padres' offense break loose Wednesday when they scored 13 runs over the first two innings en route to a 14-3 victory over the Marlins.
But the former Florida outfielder said the satisfaction had more to do with providing San Diego's pitchers some much-needed offense after a season filled with tight and often low-scoring games.
"It's always a good feeling when the bats come alive," Maybin said. "Our pitching has battled all year, so it was nice to give them some room to breathe."
The Padres had 20 hits on their way to scoring a season-high 14 runs. The 20 hits were three hits shy of tying the season-high 23 they had on May 11 in Milwaukee. San Diego also became the first Major League team this season to record 20 or more hits in two games.
Not too bad for a team that -- even after Wednesday -- still ranks 29th out of 30 Major League teams in runs (339).
"Once you start getting hits and everyone is contributing, you feel like it's never going to stop," Padres manager Bud Black said.