Outfielder Carlos Quentin returned to San Diego on May 28 and has been on a tear since, and the team welcomed back two more players -- infielder Logan Forsythe and outfielder Mark Kotsay -- on Sunday. For a club that sits 15th in the National League in runs scored, any addition to the offense should help.
Forsythe had been on the 60-day disabled list since he had surgery during Spring Training in March to remove a broken sesamoid bone in his left foot. Kotsay, on the other hand, was reinstated from the 15-day DL after missing 30 games due to a lower-back strain.
"It's good to get Kots back," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's done very well in the positions we have put him in as a pinch-hitter or getting some starts."
Both players were in the Padres' lineup Sunday and did well in their return, each going 2-for-3. But it wasn't enough to prevent a 6-0 loss to Arizona, marking the team's 11th loss in its past 13 games. With the defeat, San Diego maintained the worst record in the Major Leagues going into Tuesday.
For the Giants, who come into San Diego for a short three-game road trip, the series represents another opportunity to beat up on a weaker foe. San Francisco swept its four-game series with the struggling Cubs and has won 16 of its past 23 games going into Tuesday.
In order to win Tuesday, though, the Giants likely will have to do better this time around against Padres starter Anthony Bass. The right-hander took the loss in his previous outing against San Francisco on April 28 but looked strong, retiring the first 17 hitters he faced and allowing two runs over eight innings.
Padres: Defense looking much improved
If there's been one bright spot during San Diego's recent struggles, it's been the defense. The Padres averaged more than one error per game over the first few weeks of the season but have played much better in the field recently. Their error Sunday was the club's first in its past nine games, and San Diego has committed just two miscues in its past 12 games.
"We have played good the last 25 games or so defensively, fundamentally much better," Black said. "The infield has been better, outfield play has been better. I like what I'm seeing as far as playing a clean game. We are doing better. We're making the plays we should make."
Giants: Lincecum returns to form
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum has looked like more of a Minor Leaguer than an ace for a large part of the season, giving Giants fans much reason for concern. But fans and teammates alike are breathing easier after Lincecum's last outing, when he allowed one earned run over seven innings against Arizona.
Lincecum, who will take the mound Tuesday against the Padres, took the loss against the D-backs and still hasn't recorded a win since April 28 against San Diego. But the right-hander said he feels like himself again.
"Just before the game, it was, 'Timmy's being his old self,'" Lincecum said after his last start. "So, hearing those things, you want to hold onto those things from good moments and push yourself into something good."
San Diego starting pitcher Tim Stauffer welcomed his first child Saturday, the same day (June 2) that he was born in 1982. Noah James Stauffer was born to Tim and wife Roseanne weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces.
Giants pitchers have gone seven consecutive starts lasting at least seven innings while allowing two runs or fewer. This is just the second time since 1958 that they've done that (previously: July 1-10, 1988, done for nine straight games).
Giants outfielder Angel Pagan extended his home hitting streak to 28 games with a 2-for-4 performance against the Cubs on Monday. Pagan owns the Giants record for a hitting streak at home and has the longest in the Major Leagues since Josh Hamilton had 29 straight games with a hit at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.