Jose Pirela is streaking with the bat

Notes on Lucchesi, the Giants, Galvis, etc.

April 16th, 2018

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
is one of the hottest hitters in the Major Leagues.
In fact, he leads the National League with 24 hits.
Pirela was 6-for-17 in the four-game series against the Giants with three doubles, a triple, a stolen base, a walk, two RBIs and four runs scored. Over his last seven games, Pirela is 14-for-31 with five doubles, a triple, four RBIs and seven runs scored.
Pirela has raised his batting average from .233 to .324 during a week in which he hit .452 with a .677 slugging percentage and a 1.145 OPS. Pirela is 5-for-10 with four runs scored over the last two games while hitting in the lead-off slot. 
--LHP Joey Lucchesi has a 1.66 earned run average after his first four Major League starts. That is the lowest ERA by a Padres pitcher in his first four Major League starts since posted a 1.35 ERA in his first four starts as a rookie in 2013. Lucchesi had a career-high nine strikeouts Sunday against the Giants. Over his last three starts, Lucchesi is 2-0 and has allowed two unearned runs on 10 hits and four walks with 24 strikeouts in 17 innings. Lucchesi leads all rookie starting pitchers in ERA and strikeouts (25).
--3B homered in back-to-back games for the second time in his career Saturday and Sunday. He drove in four runs over the two games. Villanueva leads the Padres in home runs (six) and RBIs (11). Villanueva is 5-for-8 over the Padres' three straight wins with two doubles, two homers, five RBIs and three runs scored. He first homered in back-to-back games last Sept. 20-21.  
--SS drew a career-high three walks Sunday. He was 4-for-13 in the Giants series. Galvis is off to a .316 start at the plate with 12 walks for a .421 on-base percentage. His career-high in OPS was a .309 mark last season. Galvis has reached base in 16 of the Padres' 17 games.
--Since the Giants went 9-0 against the Padres over the first half of the 2016 season, the Padres have gone 23-10 against San Francisco - including winning three of four this weekend.
--Two players the Padres could return to the Major aLeagues later this season had big games for Triple-A El Paso Sunday. C Raffy Lopez was 4-for-5 with a double and his third homer for three RBIs and two runs scored. OF was 3-for-4 with a double, two stolen bases, three RBIs and two runs scored.