SAN DIEGO -- Padres reliever Joe Thatcher played catch on Tuesday, the first time that he has picked up a baseball since he had a setback on April 5.

Thatcher, on the disabled list since March 22 with a strained left shoulder, appeared to be closing in on taking a Minor League rehabilitation stint, but then he reported some soreness in his shoulder during a bullpen session at PETCO Park.

There's no timetable for when Thatcher will throw again or when he'll get on a mound.

"He's got a ways to go," Padres manager Bud Black said. "... Hopefully this time things will be better."

The Padres will evaluate Thatcher on Wednesday, when he arrives at PETCO Park. How he is feeling will determine his next step.

Gonzalez a hit with bat as well as glove

SAN DIEGO -- Make no mistake, the reason that the Padres traded for infielder Alberto Gonzalez during the last week of Spring Training was because of his glove and the team needed a backup infielder capable of playing shortstop.

"Anything he contributes with the bat will be a bonus," Padres manager Bud Black said on Tuesday.

So far, Gonzalez has been a hit with the glove and the bat. He made his third start in as many days Tuesday for Jason Bartlett, who is working through a sore back.

Gonzalez is also hitting .300 with three hits, including his eighth-inning double on Monday that looked as if it might start a rally. But Gonzalez was thrown out at third base on a bunt by Chris Denorfia.

"I think I was safe," Gonzalez said, smiling.

As for his bat, Gonzalez is a career .277 hitter in the Minor Leagues. In 2009, he drove in 33 runs and hit .265 in 105 games for the Nationals.

"Right now, I'm so happy ... my defense and offense are good," he said. "I feel good for the opportunity."

Padres' pitching keeps club on track

SAN DIEGO -- When the Padres dropped three consecutive games last week, San Diego reliever Mike Adams was certain the losing wouldn't continue much longer.

He said pitching -- and history -- were the reasons why he was so confident.

"I think our pitching carried the team last year and is one of the reasons we had very few losing streaks," Adams said. "I think that will happen again this year."

Pitching has again been the calling card of the Padres during the young season. Going into Tuesday's game against the Reds, San Diego had the best ERA (2.79) in the National League.

A year ago, on the way to winning 90 games, the Padres dropped three or more games once before their 10-game skid began on Aug. 26.

The Padres lost the final game of their series against the Giants last week and then lost the first two games of a series against the Dodgers. The Padres won the series finale on Sunday, 7-2.

"The pitching was good and we managed to push across a couple of runs when it counted most," Adams said. "... Hopefully we can do the same this year."

Two top prospects injured at Fort Wayne

SAN DIEGO -- Two of the Padres' top prospects -- outfielders Donavan Tate and Everett Williams -- were injured Tuesday when they collided in a game while playing for Class A Fort Wayne.

Randy Smith, the Padres' director of player development, said in an email that Tate and Williams were "banged up a bit but there was no structural damage."

Tate, the third overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is likely headed to the disabled list and could miss 7-10 days with a sore left knee.

Williams, a second-round pick in 2009, will likely miss between three and five games with a sore right knee.

"Both guys were playing really well," Smith said. "... Unfortunate, but lucky it was not worse."

Tate was hitting .316 in the first six games of the season for the TinCaps with two doubles and two RBIs. Williams was hitting .300 with three stolen bases.