5/21/2013 12:20 A.M. ET
Black can't say enough about boffo batting
By Corey Brock and Jamal Collier / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- A day after a 15-hit, 13-run outing in Sunday's series finale against the Nationals, Padres manager Bud Black gushed.
"Offensively, I like the mix of players with different skill sets -- there's speed, there's average and there is power."
It wasn't just one game he was talking about, either.
The Padres had scored 88 runs over their last 18 games (since April 30) heading into Monday's game at Petco Park against the Cardinals, good for an average of 4.83 runs per game. The 88 runs the team had scored in that stretch ranks second among all National League teams.
The Padres' 13-4 victory over the Nationals spoke to the diversity of the team's offense -- the team had seven extra-base hits (three home runs, four doubles) and five stolen bases.
"There are a number of guys are getting into their career where their numbers should be stable and even improve," Black said. "There should be a growth in performance."
Family of Padres' Hinch safe after Okla. tornadoes
SAN DIEGO -- On Sunday, Becky Hinch was enjoying the sunshine during a visit to San Diego, playing with her two granddaughters, Haley and Kaitlin.
One day later, Hinch, the mother of Padres vice president and assistant general manager A.J. Hinch, was on put on lockdown at her work near Moore, Okla., when a two-mile-wide tornado ripped through the city, killing at least 51 people.
"She texted me and told me she was being locked in a building," Hinch said by phone on Monday from Omaha, Neb., where the Padres' Triple-A Tucson affiliate was playing.
Hinch grew up Midwest City, which is about 15 miles northeast of Moore. While his mother now lives in Oklahoma City, Hinch's sister and her family still live in Midwest City. In fact, his brother-in-law, Robert Wages, actually captured some video of the tornado on his cellular phone.
"My brother-in-law was on the outskirts and took an incredible video of it. You can hear his voice in the video saying, 'Let's get out of here,' " Hinch said.
Hinch's sister, Angie Wages, is a teacher in Midwest City. Many of the victims of the tornado were children, according to reports.
"It hits home for me, the father of two girls," Hinch said. "That's heartbreaking to hear the stories that are coming out of there. I feel sorry for everyone."
Hinch said he grew up heeding the tornado siren living in the center of Tornado Alley.
"This time of year, late spring/early summer, you're never numb to it," Hinch said.
No need for a cab, Everth is running like the wind
SAN DIEGO -- Shortstop Everth Cabrera stole three bases during Sunday's game against Washington to run his Major League-leading total to 18 on the season.
It was his fourth time he's had three stolen bases in a game. Entering Monday here against St. Louis, Cabrera had also swiped a bag in a career-high five consecutive games, which was tied for the longest streak in the league this season with Milwaukee's Jean Segura (April 19-23)
"Right now is the best I've ever felt in my life in the big leagues," Cabrera said before the Cardinals game. "I feel strong, fast, I feel focused -- that's most important. I feel really focused during the game."
Cabrera came up limping after a first-inning single during Sunday's game, and it appeared -- for a moment, at least -- that he could be limited on the base paths. But after a short delay, he proved he was fine.
Cabrera said he's never had a problem getting a great jump, but now he's taking a bigger lead than he was at the beginning of the year. Since April 14, he's been thrown out only once in 17 attempts.
"Just more relaxed and just waiting for the good moment to go," Cabrera said.
He's also getting more opportunities to steal bases because he's enjoying much more success at the plate. Cabrera had reached base in 13 of his last 27 plate appearances entering Monday, with 10 hits and three walks.
"Just more and more patient at the plate," he said. "But at the same time, aggressive when I want to be aggressive."
Minor Leaguer Darnell again felled by injury
SAN DIEGO -- Infielder/outfielder James Darnell, slowed by injuries in recent years, has suffered another injury to his left shoulder, one that will cause him to miss significant playing time.
Playing for Triple-A Tucson, Darnell left a game on May 14 with an injury to his left shoulder following a swing. Darnell was in San Diego last week to consult with team doctors. Another surgery is a strong possibility.
Darnell first injured his left shoulder making a diving stop at third base in a game against the D-backs in September 2011. He suffered a temporary dislocation that eventually required surgery to repair the capsule around the shoulder.
Darnell began the 2012 season in Tucson but was recalled last May. He then suffered a subluxation of his left shoulder attempting a diving catch in left field against the Dodgers. He later had arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder.
Darnell was slowed in Spring Training with strained left oblique, limiting him to 11 at-bats this spring. He played in 15 games for Tucson, hitting .246 with 10 RBIs.
The team's second-round Draft pick in 2008 out of the University of South Carolina, Darnell has a .226 average over 62 big league at-bats with the Padres in 2011-12. He's a career .297 hitter in parts of six seasons in the Minor Leagues.
The Padres signed former Mariners Minor League outfielder Mike Wilson to a Minor League contract last week and sent him to Tucson to take Darnell's spot on the roster. Wilson made his debut on Saturday with Tucson.
• Triple-A Tucson catcher Yasmani Grandal went 1-for-4 with a double, walk and strikeout Monday in an 11-8 loss to Iowa. Grandal is now 3-for-9 in three games during the 10 games he's eligible to play in the Minor Leagues while still serving his 50-game suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone. He's eligible to join the Padres on May 28 when the team is in Seattle.
• Outfielder Cameron Maybin, who has been the disabled list since April 17 with an impingement of his right wrist, hit in the cage and on the field before Monday's game against the Cardinals. He will do the same on Tuesday and Wednesday. If his wrist feels fine, he'll likely begin a Minor League rehab stint Friday with one of the Padres' affiliates. Manager Bud Black said he would like to see Maybin get around 30 at-bats.
• Pitcher Casey Kelly, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on April 2, said Monday he is happy that he no longer has to wear the balky brace on his right arm to stabilize his elbow. "I don't look like the bionic man anymore," Kelly said. Kelly is doing range-of-motion exercises and exercises to strength his shoulder. He also started lower-body exercises to get a workout since he's been limited the last six weeks. "It's awesome," Kelly said. "I don't have to sit around just waiting to heal."
• Kalian Sams, an outfielder with Double-A San Antonio, was named the Texas League Player of the Week for the week of May 13-19. Sams, 26, hit .308 with five doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs for the Missions. Sams, who signed with the Padres on May 4 after previously playing in Seattle's Minor League system, had 13 extra-base hits -- six doubles and seven home runs -- in his first 14 hits.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.