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Alonso in a rhythm at plate

CINCINNATI -- Yonder Alonso had a slow start to the 2014 campaign, hitting .167 in the month of April. But the first baseman has put together a solid first half of May, hitting .281 (9-for-32) on the month through Tuesday. Over his previous five games entering Wednesday, Alonso was hitting .412 (7-for-17) with two doubles.

"Just rhythm," Alonso said of what has changed for him recently. "Just relaxing at the plate and making sure I get a good pitch to hit. For me, it's always just a matter of time before I'm gonna start hitting, doing the things I want to do. But rhythm goes along way.

"… I just think I've been focusing a lot more on my work pregame, during batting practice and in the game. I've been locked-in and focused. I think if you do a good job of working before the game and making sure those things are solid, everything else will get taken care of in the game.

Alonso was 0-for-3 in the series opener against Cincinnati on Tuesday, but said that a hitless game will happen from time to time, and doesn't take away from the groove he's in.

"That's baseball, man," he said. "It's not every day you're gonna go 3-for-3. It's just part of the game and you've just got to continue to work and continue to have solid work in the cage and so on and so forth. And just keep going."

The Padres hope that Alonso's good at-bats do keep going, as the recent returns of Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin to the San Diego lineup could finally give an offense that struggled until last weekend a big lift.

"It's great. It gives us a boost," Alonso said of having Headley and now Quentin back. "We have a lot of weapons and guys that can get it done. It's definitely a lot of fun. We have a good group of guys, lefty-righty matchups too, and guys that can hit for power and average. It's fun to see those guys and know they're going to be on base when you're hitting."

Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for
Read More: San Diego Padres, Yonder Alonso