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Manuel Margot rounding into 2017 shape

Notes on Castillo, Lauer, Ellis, Hosmer, Reyes
San Diego Padres

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

Center fielder Manuel Margot had the game's most impressive at-bat Saturday night.

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

Center fielder Manuel Margot had the game's most impressive at-bat Saturday night.

Hitting with the bases loaded and the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning, Margot fell behind 0-2 on the first two pitches from Matt Harvey. The pitcher then tried to go low-and-outside for the strikeout.

But Margot went with the pitch and lined an opposite-field, two-run double down the line in right.

Margot was 2-for-4 Saturday with his 10th double. He also scored a run.

Over his last 11 games, Margot is 10-for-34 (.294) with four doubles, four walks, five RBIs and two runs scored to raise his batting average from .192 to a season-high .214.

NOTEBOOK

• LHP Jose Castillo Saturday night became the third pitcher in Padres history to strike out the first three hitters he faced in his Major League debut. Jeremy Fikac did it on Aug. 16, 2001, against the Mets at Qualcomm Stadium. Converted position player Tommy Layne did it on Aug. 14, 2012, at Atlanta. Castillo, 22, a native of Venezuela, had his fastball clocked at 95-96 mph Saturday. He struck out three hitters at the heart of the Cincinnati order -- Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Adam Duvall.

• LHP Eric Lauer picked his fifth runner off first Saturday night to move into the National League lead (with Atlanta's Julio Teheran) for picking off runners. The Padres lead the National League with 11 pickoffs. Over his last three starts, Lauer has given up seven runs on 18 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for an ERA of 4.73. Lauer also got his first Major League RBI Saturday with a second-inning sacrifice fly.

• C A.J. Ellis, who scored on Lauer's sacrifice fly, drew two walks Saturday. Since Austin Hedges was injured on April 30, Ellis has hit .364 (16-for-44) with four doubles, a homer, seven RBIs, six runs scored and seven walks. Since Hedges went out, Ellis has a .451 on-base percentage and a .523 slugging percentage for a .974 OPS.

• Like Margot, rookie RF Franmil Reyes is also on an offensive run. After a 1-for-11 start with six strikeouts, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Reyes has gone 9-for-38 (.237) with four home runs, six RBIs, six runs scored and three walks to raise his batting average to .213.

• 1B Eric Hosmer is 11-for-23 (.478) with a double, five RBIs and four runs scored over his last six games. He has four multihit games, including two three-hit games, during the run.

San Diego Padres