Padres off to captivating start in 2015
Play is far from perfect, but San Diego has found the power to thrill
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
If we've learned one thing about the 2015 Padres after 13 games, it's that they are definitely not boring.
Sunday was the perfect example. They made mistakes in the field. They made mistakes on the basepaths. And they rallied to win ... again.
The series-finale win against the Cubs at Wrigley Field marked the fifth time in 13 games that the Padres have come from behind to win this season. Five of their eight wins are come-from-behind wins, with two of those coming after the sixth inning. A year ago, San Diego was 9-71 when trailing after six.
As for exciting: The Padres have 12 homers in 13 games after clubbing five during three games in Chicago. Last season, San Diego didn't hit its 12th homer until the season's 30th game. And seven of the Padres' 13 homers have come with runners on.
Two of the homers -- both by third baseman Will Middlebrooks -- tied games. There others were decisive, game-winning blows.
Sunday's win gave the Padres a third straight series win and moved them into second place in the National League West.
Notes from the scorebook
• Middlebrooks has one hit in each game in his five-game hitting streak. But two of those hits were game-tying two-run homers. He is 5-for-20 during the streak, with two doubles, two homers, five RBIs and three runs.
• Relievers Brandon Maurer and Shawn Kelley each rallied from slow starts to pitch a perfect inning Sunday to protect the Padres' lead. Maurer, who worked the seventh, had given up three runs on four hits in his first two appearances since being recalled from Triple-A El Paso on April 10. Kelley, who had allowed five runs on six hits and four walks over four innings in his first four appearances, struck out one in a perfect eighth.
• Right-hander Joaquin Benoit has had a hand in four of San Diego's eight wins. He has three wins -- putting him in a tie for the Major League lead -- and picked up the save Sunday, when Craig Kimbrel was unavailable. Benoit is the only pitcher with three wins and a save. He has worked seven straight scoreless innings (three hits, two walks, seven strikeouts) after allowing a home run to Adrian Gonzalez in his first trip to the mound.
• Infielder Yangervis Solarte has three errors in six starts -- two in two starts at first base and one in four starts at second. But the switch-hitter is also 9-for-23 (.391) in those starts, with three doubles, Sunday's two-run homer and six RBIs.
• The Padres have committed 13 errors in 13 games, resulting in 10 unearned runs that played a role in two of their five losses. Right fielder Matt Kemp's error Sunday was the second by an outfielder. Pitchers have also made two errors. Solarte leads San Diego with three, followed by first baseman Yonder Alonso (two) and shortstop Clint Barmes (two). Middlebrooks and shortstop Alexi Amarista both have committed one error.