SAN DIEGO -- Even with the two runs Padres relief pitchers allowed during a 5-3 victory Sunday, San Diego ranks fourth in the National League with a 3.16 ERA.
The Padres' relief unit is limiting opposing hitters to a .182 average, which ranks the best in the Major Leagues this season.
"We're really starting to show our true colors now," said Padres closer Heath Bell, who has three saves in three opportunities. "We're all settling into our roles and just pitching the way we can and the way we have before."
Over their last eight games, Padres relievers have a 1.38 ERA while allowing an average of .104 to opposing hitters. Not coincidentally, the Padres are 5-3 in those games.
"Those guys have thrown well," Black said. "Pitchers can get on a roll, too. We just need to keep it going."
Entering play Monday, the Padres are just one of four teams in the Major Leagues to not have a loss from any of the relief pitchers. The other teams were the Pirates, Angels and Twins.
Split-finger gives Mujica a boost
SAN DIEGO -- It's certainly not a new pitch that Padres reliever Edward Mujica has been throwing this season that has led him to become one of manager Bud Black's dependable and successful arms out of the bullpen.
Instead, it's an old pitch -- a split-finger fastball -- he's more comfortable with these days and one he isn't afraid of using in any count and against both right-handed and left-handed batters.
Mujica, who went into Monday's game against the Giants with a 1.93 ERA over a team-leading seven appearances, has so far shown a knack for getting hitters on a split-finger fastball that has late darting action with good depth through the strike zone.
"He's got good command of his fastball when he's going right and now his split-finger is getting better and better," Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley said. "Last year he was a fastball-slider guy who started using his splitter later.
"You can't throw your splitter every pitch."
But when Mujica has, he's been successful. He's allowed three hits in 9 1/3 innings and two of those have been solo home runs, one coming on a split-finger to Arizona's Mark Reynolds over the weekend. Mujica has 11 strikeouts and two walks.
"It depends on how the game is going, but now I'll use it whenever," Mujica said. "Last year, I used it more as a strikeout pitch. This year, I'm throwing to lefties and to righties."
Padres could add second lefty to 'pen
SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Bud Black said Monday that it "might be feasible" that the Padres will at some point consider carrying two left-handed relievers in the bullpen.
The Padres currently have one left-hander, Cesar Ramos, who has a 3.86 ERA over six games and has limited left-handed batters to a .167 batting average.
Left-hander Joe Thatcher, who would have likely made the 25-man Opening Day roster but began the season on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, is on a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Portland.
Thatcher has a 2.25 ERA in four appearances with the Beavers. Thatcher tossed a shutout inning in relief Sunday and was set to pitch again Monday, according to Black.
There's no determination as to when Thatcher -- who is eligible to come off the DL -- will be activated.
As for the potential of carrying Ramos and Thatcher in the bullpen, Black said "we will come to that decision when Thatcher is healthy."
Young coming along slowly
SAN DIEGO -- After two sessions of playing catch from a short distance, pitcher Chris Young, currently on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, threw from a greater distance before Monday's game.
Manager Bud Black said the key is how Young's shoulder responds Tuesday and if the team feels he's ready for a bullpen session by the middle or end of the week.
"We'll have a better indication tomorrow," Black said Monday.
Young has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 12, retroactive to April 7, which was a day after he tossed six shutout innings in his only start of the season against the D-backs.
Young, who had arthroscopic debridement surgery to remove loose fragments in his right shoulder, will likely be asked to pitch in Minor League games as part of a rehabilitation assignment once he's cleared to pitch.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.