TUCSON -- In his first game action of any sort in exactly a month, Nick Hundley tested his recovering right oblique with a big test on Saturday, with an even bigger swing during the first game of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson.
Hundley drilled a hanging curveball from Tacoma pitcher Luke French into the bullpen in left field for a three-run homer at Kino Stadium as part of Tucson's 12-8 victory.
Hundley, who walked and grounded out in a six-inning stint, said that it was important that he put the strained muscle to the test right away after a month on the disabled list resting and rehabbing.
"I didn't want to come into this [rehab stint] and not get it loose," Hundley said.
Hundley is scheduled to catch six innings on Sunday, will get at-bats as the designated hitter on Monday and will likely catch a full game on Tuesday. If he checks out fine, he'll head back to San Diego on Wednesday, when he could be activated from the DL.
"Hopefully, I'll be ready to go," he said. "Right now I feel fine."
Hundley has missed the last 27 games since straining the oblique while taking a swing during the May 4 game against the Pirates.
Rob Johnson and Kyle Phillips, who have shared the catching duties with Hundley out, have hit a combined .156 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 96 at-bats since May 5.
At the time of the injury, Hundley was hitting .263 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 95 at-bats.
Tekotte taking in the big league atmosphere
SAN DIEGO -- When Blake Tekotte was called up in late May, he received some advice from former Major Leaguer and two-time All-Star Scott Cooper.
Cooper played for St. Louis in 1995, about an hour and a half from where Tekotte grew up, and the two hit together this offseason.
"He was just really happy for me whenever I got called up, and he just said, 'Enjoy every minute of it, because it goes fast,' " Tekotte said. "So I've been trying to not take anything for granted ... and I'm just trying to take it all in."
That includes the big moments, such as his first Major League hit, against Washington on May 28, when he went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a walk. He was the first Padre to collect multiple hits in his first career start since Luis Durango did so on Sept. 16, 2009, against the D-backs.
But he's also taking in the smaller moments, such as explaining the pronunciation of his last name.
"Especially when I first got here, everybody was like, 'How do you say it?' But yeah, 'TEE-koah-te," he said, pronouncing each syllable. "I've heard everything in the book, so I'm kind of used to it."
Tekotte has played in nine games with the Padres, and though he's done his best to soak up veteran wisdom and not draw unwanted attention, he has tried to savor the big league atmosphere.
"It's awesome," he said. "It's definitely something you can get used to, compared to Minor League living. These guys have been helping me out quite a bit. You'd rather be seen than heard around here, especially if you're younger."
Tekotte's big league stint started well. After his first five games, he was batting .300, but he has gone 0-for-10 at the plate in his last four outings, dropping his average to .167.
Of course, with such a small sample size, batting average isn't a great tell. Tekotte said that he's just gotten a little away from the approach that got him to the Majors.
"I've been a little anxious, swinging at some bad pitches, trying to do too much, I think," he said. "Right now I'm slowing the game down, trying to see [the ball] and hit it instead of thinking that something is wrong with my swing.
"I just have to stay within myself."
With changed outlook, Harang seeing results
SAN DIEGO -- Aaron Harang had been dealing with disappointment for a few years.
He wasn't getting the run support he would have liked, and the results reflected that, but this past winter he decided to change his outlook.
"I'm not worrying about the possibility of runs not being scored for me," Harang said. "I told myself this winter that no matter what, no matter where I'm at, I can't let that stuff bother me."
And with a 6-3 win on Saturday night, Harang became the first San Diego pitcher to reach six wins this season.
"I feel like I'm throwing better, or at least more consistent, is what it comes down to," he said. "I think that's the biggest thing. Consistency is going to stretch out all of the season, and the results will show up."
The numbers certainly back him up. Saturday's appearance -- in which he went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on six hits -- was his fourth consecutive quality start. Over that stretch, he has given up five earned runs in 27 2/3 innings, for a 1.63 ERA.
But another stat that helps tell the tale is the run support Harang has received this year.
Only Clayton Richard has been graced with more support than Harang, whereas before Harang found himself in a situation much like that of Dustin Moseley, who has the seventh-lowest run support in the Majors.
"In the past few years, there were a lot of times where I wasn't getting a lot of run support, either," Harang said. "I know exactly what Dustin's going through, and he's been able to stay more focused. I think there were times where I was letting that get to me the last couple of years, and it was affecting how I was throwing overall."
Harang said that his confidence is up as well. And that confidence is bolstered even more with the bullpen he has backing him up, a bullpen that leads the Majors with a 2.33 ERA.
"In the past it might be where I'm out there really, really pleading my case to stay in the game," Harang said. "Knowing we have the back end of the bullpen that we have, you're not as [worried about letting] them come in."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Mark Thompson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.