Rookies playing key roles in recent surge

Notes on Franmil Reyes, Hunter Renfroe, Austin Hedges, Bryan Mitchell

September 4th, 2018

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

The Padres are 5-2 over their last seven games. And each of those wins share a common denominator -- a rookie played a key role.

We look back at the rookies' contributions since Aug. 28:

Aug. 28: Padres 2, Mariners 1 -- Rookie right-handed starter had a shutout going for 8 1/3 innings when Seattle's homered. Still, that was the only run he allowed on eight hits over those 8 1/3 innings. He didn't have a walk or a strikeout and threw only 79 pitches. Second baseman Luis Urias made a diving stop to his right on his first Major League play.

Aug. 29: Padres 8, Mariners 3 -- Second baseman Urias, 21, the Padres' No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 3-for-5 with a run scored in his second Major League game. He notched his first Major League hit and run in the same game. Left-hander Joey Lucchesi allowed one run on six hits and two walks and equaled his career high with nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to even his record at 2-2 and lower his ERA to 3.59.

Aug. 30: Padres 3, Rockies 2 (13 innings) -- Right fielder had the first walk-off homer of his career and went 2-for-2. Left-hander pitched five hitless innings but allowed an unearned run and issued two walks with two strikeouts. Right-hander allowed a hit and a walk in three scoreless innings of relief to pick up his first Major League win.

Aug. 31: Padres 7, Rockies 0 -- Right-hander gave up four hits and two walks with two strikeouts in six innings to earn the first win of his Major League career.

Sept. 3: Padres 6, D-backs 2 -- Reyes drove in four runs with the first two home run game of his career. Left-handed reliever allowed a hit with a strikeout over 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in his sixth straight scoreless appearance.

NOTEBOOK

• Reyes extended his career-best hitting streak to nine straight games with his two homers. He is 11-for-27 during the hitting streak with five homers for 10 RBIs and seven runs scored. He has also drawn three walks for a slash line of .407/.467/.963/1.430 during the hitting streak.

• OF singled after striking out three times Monday night to extend his career-best hitting streak to an 11th straight game. He is 16-for-46 (.348) during the streak with two doubles, five homers, seven runs scored and 11 RBIs for a .717 slugging percentage and a 1.065 OPS.

• C is 6-for-20 (.300) during a five-game hitting streak with two doubles and four RBIs. He has hit safely in seven of his last eight games (9-for-33) with two doubles and a home run for five RBIs.

• RHP allowed one run on two hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five innings Monday in his first start since May 5 and first appearance since June 5 before he went on the disabled list. He was credited with his first win since April 12, 2017.

• The Padres have won three straight series openers and four of the last five to improve to 14-31 in series-opening games on the season.