Taking advantage of opportunity, Myers stays hot

Padres leadoff hitter takes close ball in seventh, launches go-ahead homer

Taking advantage of opportunity, Myers stays hot

CHICAGO -- Wil Myers saw four pitches in his seventh inning at-bat against Cubs reliever Brian Schlitter, and all four came with a high heat warning.

First, there was a 96-mph swinging strike, followed by a 95-mph heater than Myers looked at for a strike. Then came another fastball, this one 96 mph that was close, a pitch Myers laid off.

Chicago catcher Welington Castro thought it was a strike, and he stood up and briefly headed toward the home dugout. Schlitter thought so, too. But home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook called it a ball.

Given another chance, Myers took the next pitch, a 95 mph fastball, and drove it over the fence in deep center field, giving the Padres a 5-4 lead, one they parlayed into a victory at Wrigley Field.

"He had some looks at the fastball from the big righty [Schlitter] and swung through the first one. He had a good rip at it," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He took the second strike [and] 0-2 is not a good spot, obviously. I like that Wil regrouped. It looked like they were going to stay hard on him, and he turned it around. It was a great swing."

Myers, the Padres' leadoff hitter, has had a stretch of good swings. He has 12 hits in his last 26 at-bats to go with seven RBIs and the home run, his first with the Padres. His three hits against the Cubs raised his average to a season-high .333 through 45 at-bats.

Myers had a bloop single to right field in his first at-bat and then had a bunt single in the fifth inning before he got considerably more mileage out of his last swing.

"I feel good at the plate. I thought the home run was big, but one thing I've really been working on is the bunting. It's never been a part of my game, ever," Myers said. "I was able to put down a bunt and get a base hit. Obviously, the home run was great, but to be able to do that in that situation, get a hit right there and give what they take me was good."

Myers said he made an adjustment during his at-bat with Schlitter, going from cheating for a fastball to looking away for a pitch to drive.

"I was happy with the result," Myers said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.