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Notes: Lucchesi strikes out pair; Profar shines

March 1, 2020

PEORIA, Ariz. -- There was no club that southpaw Joey Lucchesi grew more familiar with last season than the Giants, facing them on five occasions. Four of those starts were of the quality variety, with seven of the 11 earned runs that he yielded coming in one start.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- There was no club that southpaw Joey Lucchesi grew more familiar with last season than the Giants, facing them on five occasions. Four of those starts were of the quality variety, with seven of the 11 earned runs that he yielded coming in one start.

On Sunday, Lucchesi wasn’t exactly hit hard, but the Giants managed to squeeze a run across in the first. The left-hander allowed one run over two innings, compiling two strikeouts while allowing two baserunners to swipe a bag during the Padres’ 7-5 win.

Lucchesi allowed just five stolen bases across 163 2/3 innings last season.

“I’m usually on that,” Lucchesi said. “I didn’t expect [Giants first baseman Brandon] Belt’s steal on a first pitch. I had to lock back in and start slide stepping and paying attention more. That won’t happen again.”

Lucchesi and catcher Francisco Mejía worked together just twice last season for a combined 9 2/3 innings. Another facet of spring camp is getting together batterymates that could use some polishing, as the left-hander reported back a thumbs up of the young backstop’s work.

“I felt really comfortable with him today,” Lucchesi said. “I thought that he did a good job back there; we just didn’t get some pitches and I was a little wild, so that was on me.”

“Our expectations are for all of our catchers to be able to handle any pitcher at any time,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “We do want to rotate those guys through so that they build the rapport working with one another.”

Plenty of pop
Jurickson Profar got the Padres on the board with a two-run shot to left in the fourth, his first extra-base hit of the spring. The blast came off veteran left-hander Jerry Blevins, as Profar looks to carry over the success that he had facing southpaws from 2019. He collected an .835 OPS as a right-handed-hitter last year, as opposed to the .674 OPS that he compiled while swinging left-handed.

His final at-bat saw him scorch a double to right-center while hitting from the left side.

With former All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier in camp, the urgency on Profar to perform out of the gate has been amplified. Once regarded as the top prospect in baseball, Profar has struggled with consistency at the plate throughout his career.

“Each game, he has gotten a little bit better with his rhythm and timing,” Tingler said. “He’s starting to look more comfortable in the box, I think that we saw that today. It’s good to see. I fully expect him to start getting locked in and being more and more consistent, but he’s right where he needs to be right now.”

Wil Myers' second home run of Cactus League play was a no doubter to left-center field that put the Padres ahead for good in the sixth. After seeing his power numbers take a dip last season, San Diego is banking on the former All-Star reestablishing his prior form and becoming a perennial threat in the middle of the order.

“With the at-bats that he’s had to start Spring Training, we want to keep building on that and take that throughout the season,” Tingler said.

Worth noting
Tommy Pham was back in the lineup as the designated hitter, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single. It was a stark improvement from the three strikeouts that Pham recorded in his spring debut Saturday. While the status of his right elbow injury remains a point of apprehension moving forward, he appears to have shaken any lingering effects from the side soreness that had sidelined him prior to this weekend.

• Right-hander Cal Quantrill, who has been out of commission for much of the last week due to a flu bug, is nearing a return to the mound for game action.

Tingler noted that the club was going to see how Quantrill responded to a bullpen session Monday, with the hope that the 25-year-old could be back on the hill within 3-4 days.

Up next
Following an impressive first start of the spring that included three strikeouts over two scoreless frames, right-hander Chris Paddack takes the mound Monday against the White Sox at 12:05 p.m. PT. San Diego has yet to announce its starter for Opening Day, but Paddack appears to have the inside track, and can likely bolster his candidacy with a strong Cactus League campaign. Chicago will counter with southpaw Dallas Keuchel. Fans can watch the game live on MLB.TV.