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Jankowski making a mark from lead-off slot

Notes on catchers, bullpen, Pirela, third base, Galvis, etc.
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Travis Jankowski remains hot in his return to the Padres -- both with the bat and in the field.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Travis Jankowski remains hot in his return to the Padres -- both with the bat and in the field.

Jankowski reached base four times in six plate appearances Saturday night after going 3-for-5 with his first homer of the season and two runs scored Friday night against the Cardinals at Petco Park.
     
Jankowski is 11-for-26 (.423) in his last seven starts with two triples, the home run, five walks and six runs scored - for a .516 on-base percentage and a .692 slugging percentage for a 1.208 OPS.
     
More importantly, Jankowski is 12-for-30 (.400) with five walks (.486 on-base percentage) while hitting in the lead-off slot since returning from Triple-A El Paso on April 29. Overall, Jankowski is hitting .368 and has reached base in seven straight games.
     
Three of the left-handed Jankowski's four most recent hits were line drives slashed through the 5.5 hole.
     
Also, Jankowski recorded nine putouts Friday night (including one sliding catch at the right-field foul line). This is one putout shy of the Padres' single-game record by an outfielder, which has been achieved nine times. He just missed tying the record on his unsuccessful leaping effort to catch Tommy Pham's opposite-field homer in the sixth.
     
He made another sliding catch of a sinking liner in right Saturday night and just missed making a sensational catch in foul territory after a long run.
      
NOTEBOOK:
     
--Since Austin Hedges was injured on April 30, Padres catchers A.J. Ellis and Raffy Lopez have hit a combined .297 (11-for-37) with three doubles, two homers, six runs scored and five walks for a .409 on-base percentage, a .541 slugging percentage and a .950 OPS. Ellis is 6-for-14 with three doubles, five walks, two runs scored and two RBIs - drawing the pinch-hit walk to lead-off the 13th Saturday night that led to the Padres winning run. Lopez is 5-for-23 with two homers, two walks, four runs scored and three RBIs and scored the Padres' first run Saturday.
     
--Although he didn't pitch Saturday night, RHP Bryan Mitchell deserves an assist in the Padres' 13-inning, 2-1 win. Five Padres relievers worked seven scoreless innings Saturday, allowing six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. The previous night, Mitchell worked 5 2/3 innings after rookie starter Eric Lauer lasted 2 1/3 innings. Mitchell's extended outing - during which he allowed three runs on six hits and three walks - made it possible for the Padres to rest other relievers in a losing cause.
     
--Padres third basemen Christian Villanueva, Chase Headley (DFA'd yesterday) and Cory Spangenberg are a combined 1-for-49 (.020) in May with three walks for a (.077 on-base percentage) and 21 strikeouts. Villanueva and Spangenberg were a combined 0-for-5 Saturday night with five strikeouts. Villanueva, who is hitless in 36 straight at-bats is 1-for-37 in May. Headley was 0-for-10 while playing third before being designated for assignment Thursday. Spangenberg is 0-for-2. Villanueva had a putout and three assists in four chances at shortstop Friday night in his first appearance at the position in his Major League career.
     
--SS Freddy Galvis got his first innings of the season off Friday night. Galvis has hit .157 (14-for-89) since April 15 with one double, five runs scored, four RBIs and two walks (.176 on-base percentage) with 22 strikeouts.
 
--2B-LF Jose Pirela's two doubles Friday night were his first extra-base hits since April 15. Pirela was 3-for-5 Friday night in his sixth, three-hit game of the season. Pirela is 11-for-30 (.366) in his last eight games to raise his batting average from .248 to .270. He has made seven straight starts at second base. Pirela has reached base in 16 of his last 18 games.
     
--OF Franchy Cordero is hitting .306 (11-for-36) in May with seven walks for a .419 on-base percentage, although the most recent of his six home runs came on April 28.

San Diego Padres