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Gyorko hitting better as a shortstop

Notes on Kemp, Solarte, Rea, Norris

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

Defensively, Jedd Gyorko has done a nice job in his 13 starts at shortstop for the Padres.

"He's proving to people that he's a viable shortstop candidate," Padres manager Pat Murphy said Wednesday before the Padres' 11-4 victory over the Rockies at Petco Park. "Jedd's a ballplayer. He understands time and space. He has a feel for the game. Some of his skills are better suited for shortstop than second base."

Murphy was talking about Gyorko's defense. But Gyorko is also hitting better as a shortstop than he did in 80 games at second base.

Gyorko the shortstop is hitting .340 (16-for-47) with two doubles, six homers and 14 RBIs. He has a .385 on-base percentage, a .766 slugging percentage and a 1.151 OPS.

Gyorko the second baseman was hitting .229 (63-for-275) with 11 doubles, seven homers and 33 RBIs with a .280 on-base and a .345 slugging for a .626 OPS.

The sample size at shortstop is small. But might there be something to it?

"I feel comfortable at short," says Gyorko. "That's where I played most of my life."

Gyorko hit a three-run homer Wednesday to snap a break a 2-2 tie. He is also hitting .300 (12-for-40) with four homers, two doubles and 11 RBIs on the 11-game homestand that ends Thursday afternoon against the Rockies.

"I'm swinging the bat right now," said Gyorko. "You're never satisfied, but my swing is where it needs to be right now."

From the scorecard

Matt Kemp's 20th homer of the season in the first inning extended his on-base streak to a career-best 29 games, which is the longest by a Padres player since Adrian Gonzalez reached base in 30 straight games in 2006. Kemp's streak is the third-longest active streak in the Major Leagues. During his on-base streak, Kemp has hitting streaks of 15, five and seven games. He is hitting .322 (38-for-118) during the on-base streak, with nine homers and 34 RBIs.

• Third baseman Yangervis Solarte was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. That is one game shy of the longest hitting streak in his career (July 25-Aug. 5 this season). Solarte is hitting .419 (18-for-43) during this streak with six RBIs. He has reached base in 11 straight games.

• Right-hander Colin Rea pinch-ran his way into trivia History when he scored as a pinch-runner Wednesday. A night earlier, he allowed two hits while pitching seven scoreless innings against the Rockies. Since divisional play began in 1969, Rea is just the fourth pitcher to throw at least seven scoreless innings one night and score the following game. Rea is one of two rookie pitchers in that mix, the other being Doug Brocail with the Padres in 1993.

• Catcher Derek Norris was 2-for-4 with a double Wednesday night. The double was his 10th against the Rockies this season, setting a Padres franchise record for the most doubles against one team in a season.

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