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Off to strong start, Padres plating plenty of early runs

DENVER -- The Padres couldn't be happier with their start to the season. They entered Tuesday night's game 9-5 and in second place in the National League West, a year after starting the season in fourth place at 6-8.

This year, the fast starts have begun in the first inning, and Monday's five-run frame was no exception. Through their first 14 games, the Padres scored the most first-inning runs in the Majors, outscoring opponents by a tally of 16-5, and they had the second-best batting average in that frame at .359.

A year ago, the Friars were last in first-inning runs, posting 62 and a league-low .228 batting average in the opening inning.

Video: [email protected]: Myers extends lead with single in the 5th

"I don't think there's any approach, I just think that we've been as a group as prepared coming out of the clubhouse ready to play than any team I've been with, which is great," manager Bud Black said. "We're prepared for the starter, we're prepared for his stuff."

Not coincidentally, there are five new Padres hitting in the first five spots. Entering Tuesday's game, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and Will Middlebrooks were hitting a combined .306 in the first five slots to start the season, and that's made a powerful first impression on visiting pitchers.

"It just happens we've gotten off to a good start," Black said. "Myers is off to a good start, Kemp and Upton are off to a good start. That's part of it. No other reason. The preparation has been good. We haven't worked our way into a game, we've started right away, and it's something we've talked about."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to
Read More: San Diego Padres, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Will Middlebrooks, Derek Norris, Matt Kemp