SAN DIEGO -- While Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia seemingly does not get much playing time in left field -- normally reserved for slugger Carlos Quentin -- Denorfia does get plenty of practice at the position.As evidenced by a strong throw from left field to nail Shane Victorino at the plate in Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Dodgers, Denorfia is comfortable at any of the outfield spots, despite making significantly more starts in right field (56) as opposed to left (11). With Quentin limited to pinch-hitting duties due to a sore knee, Denorfia delivered in a crucial situation with the throw home that saved a run. Denorfia credits pregame work for his defensive versatility, knowing that the call could come to fill any of the outfield positions on a given night. The 32-year-old has also made four starts in center. "I spend a lot of time before games with Dave Roberts, our outfield coach," Denorfia said. "I move around, I know that's part of my job. I get a little action at all of the spots if I can, at least a couple of times a week." Manager Bud Black credits Denorfia's success to a focus on the fundamentals. "Deno's game is based on being a fundamentally sound player," Black said. "[Tuesday], he charged that ball well, threw a one-hop strike to [catcher Yasmani Grandal]. It was a good play."
Padres ensure winning record at Petco for season
SAN DIEGO -- When the Padres defeated the Dodgers on Tuesday night, it moved San Diego's record at Petco Park this year to 41-35, which guarantees a winning record at home. That marks the seventh time in nine seasons in their downtown ballpark that the Padres have won more games at home than they've lost.Since the All-Star break, the Padres have been a terror on visiting teams, going 24-8 since July 16 and winning nine of 10 series at home over that span. The club's .750 winning percentage at home in that span entering Wednesday's game against the Dodgers was tied for the best in the Majors with Milwaukee. Manager Bud Black likes what he has seen out of his club while playing at home, but more so because of the steady improvement throughout the season. "The idea is always to play well at home," Black said. "You want to play well everywhere, but most teams have a tendency to play well at home, so it's a good thing we're getting there and closer to that, especially after the way we started." Starting pitcher Edinson Volquez, who was the winner on Tuesday, also spoke about what winning at home means to the team and its fans. "There's a lot of confidence now in the team when we're getting some wins at home," Volquez said. "For the fans, for our team, it's great to see." The overall improvement, not just at home, is the most important thing, according to Black. "I think the biggest thing to be proud of is the way we have fought back to where we are now," Black said. "To do that, you have to be able to play well at home, you've got to play well on the road, you've got to play well at night, you've got to play well during the day -- and that's what we've done. I think that's what our players should be proud of."
Manager Bud Black said the Padres' rotation will be status quo through a weekend series against the Giants starting Friday. The Padres will send Andrew Werner to the mound on Friday with Eric Stults set for Saturday and Edinson Volquez scheduled to start on Sunday. The Padres will then face the Brewers for three games on the road to end the regular season. There's a chance that Anthony Bass could get a start sometime during that stretch.
The Padres, who briefly had a six-man rotation this month, are back to five starters after Andrew Cashner was shut down last week.
Outfielder Carlos Quentin remained limited to pinch-hitting duty on Wednesday. Black said Quentin's knee is improving, but Jesus Guzman made the start in left in Quentin's place.
Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.