08/04/12 9:00 PM ET
Alonso settling in defensively
By Chelsea Janes / MLB.com
Denorfia always looking for '9-3 groundouts'
SAN DIEGO -- While Carlos Quentin's run-scoring collision may be the standout moment from Friday night's 3-1 Padres win, right fielder Chris Denorfia nearly completed a similarly memorable play in the third inning.With Mets' starter R.A. Dickey at the plate, Denorfia was playing a shallow right field and shading the foul line in anticipation of the kind of opposite-field blooper that is often a product of a pitcher's defensive swing. What he got instead was a solidly struck line drive. Denorfia charged and fired a wild one-hopper to first, where Yonder Alonso picked it for what looked to many in the ballpark to be a 9-3 groundout. Dickey was ruled safe in the bang-bang play, but the Padres had almost completed a rare feat: throwing a runner out at first from the outfield. Denorfia has made a few such attempts this season, opportunities he says are the product of perfect circumstances. "There are certain situations where I can play in and over towards first base, and if a guy hits a line drive to me, I usually have a shot," Denorfia said. Those chances are few and far between, and in order for Denorfia to take them, he says, his first baseman must also be aware and ready for a throw he's not used to receiving. "[Alonso] is really good at getting to the bag, he can smell it too when it's coming," Denorfia said. "If you put a good charge on it, and he's there, you just try not to throw it away." Alonso was quick to point out that a throw from right is a strange play for the first-base umpire, too. "That play might happen once every two, three years. It never happens," Alonso said. "So it's a hard play all around -- for the right fielder, to me, and for the umpire."
When Kip Wells was designated for assignment Friday, Black announced that left-handed pitcher Eric Stults would move back into the starting rotation. What wasn't clear was when Stults would get the ball, and whether he would assume Wells' spot as San Diego's fourth starter.Black clarified prior to Saturday's game, announcing that Stults would, indeed, take over that fourth spot, and therefore start Monday's series opener with the Cubs. Ross Ohlendorf will pitch Tuesday, and ace Clayton Richard will get the ball on Wednesday. Black said Saturday that injured pitcher Anthony Bass is scheduled to throw sometime in the middle of next week. Bass has been on the disabled list retroactive to June 21 with right shoulder inflammation. The 24-year-old was 2-7 with a 4.70 ERA in 16 games this season, 14 starts. With his clutch, eighth-inning strikeout of Mets star David Wright Friday night, Padres reliever Luke Gregerson extended his streak of scoreless innings to 12 1/3. Closer Huston Street followed with a four-out save, extending his scoreless streak to 17 1/3 innings. He last allowed a run on June 17 against Oakland.
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.