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Bullpen struggles under recent heavy workload

Notes on Margot, Spangenberg, Renfroe, Szczur
San Diego Padres

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

Including Saturday's unscheduled "bullpen start," the Padres have employed 18 relievers to cover 20 innings in their past four games.

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

Including Saturday's unscheduled "bullpen start," the Padres have employed 18 relievers to cover 20 innings in their past four games.

Over that span, the Padres' bullpen has given up 14 runs (13 earned) on 20 hits and five walks -- an earned run average of 5.85, which is well above the bullpen's season ERA of 3.56. That is still the eighth-best mark in the Major Leagues.

Are Padres relievers showing signs of stress?

Adam Cimber and Craig Stammen have appeared in three of the last four games.

Kirby Yates and Brad Hand have appeared in two of the last three games, with Hand having two of his four blown saves while allowing five runs over three innings during the past week.

Robert Stock pitched during each of his first two days in the Major Leagues.

Jose Castillo worked in three straight games and four over a five-day span.

The Padres' bullpen has worked 306 innings, tied for the third-highest total in the Major Leagues.

Although the Padres are off to a 1-4 start after five games on this seven-game road trip, the starting pitchers have a 1.71 ERA.

Notebook

• CF Manuel Margot is 10-for-22 in a six-game hitting streak with four doubles, two homers, six RBIs and five runs scored. He is riding a streak of five straight games with extra-base hits -- one game shy of Eric Hosmer's longest such streak in 2018 and three shy of Nate Colbert's franchise record of getting extra-base hits in eight straight games in 1969.

• INF Cory Spangenberg has hit safely in a career-best 13 straight starts since June 4, going 20-for-54 (.370) with a double, two triples and two home runs for seven RBIs and 12 runs scored. He has a .574 slugging percentage during the run.

• OF Matt Szczur's single Monday night in Texas was his fourth since May 9. Appearing mostly as a pinch-hitter and a defensive substitute, Szczur is in a 4-for-34 slump that has dropped his batting average from .250 to .189.

• Hunter Renfroe is 6-for-12 with a double and a home run in his last three starts to raise his batting average from .228 to .254.

San Diego Padres