New teammates giving Alonso offensive boost
Padres first baseman credits Upton, Kemp for being 'rock of this team'
DENVER -- A pair of major offseason trades have already reaped dividends for the Padres as they entered the season's third week at 8-5 and a game and a half behind the Dodgers.
Outfielders Justin Upton and Matt Kemp -- acquired in respective trades with the Braves and Dodgers -- entered Monday hitting a combined .333 with four home runs and 17 RBIs as the three- and four-hole hitters. But their presence is felt up and down the lineup.
First baseman Yonder Alonso credits his strong start at the plate to the veteran presences his two new teammates bring to the clubhouse and the dugout.
"These guys make you get better," Alonso said. "They kind of they take it every day and know how you have to work on a daily basis. These guys are the reasons that other guys are doing well. Not only myself, but other guys.
"Those guys are the rock of this offense, the rock of this team, and that's the big reason why the whole team is doing well."
Alonso entered the series in Colorado on a .350 tear (14-for-40) with eight walks, boasting a .475 slugging percentage and a .458 on-base percentage. He hit a two-run single in the first inning Monday and added a sacrifice fly in the second.
"I just take it one day at a time," Alonso said of his successful approach at the plate, rejecting the temptation to overanalyze himself. "If you get caught up in that, it's the wrong way to think about things. I worry about getting my preparation done, and then once [the game] starts, I make sure I'm having fun and competing and hopefully winning.