Padres end May on high note, foresee June boon

After slow start to season, offense is starting to live up to expectations

Padres end May on high note, foresee June boon

SAN DIEGO -- For as miserable as a majority of May has been for the Padres' offense, they sure finished the month with a flurry Sunday.

The Padres finished May by scoring seven runs over the first four innings, finishing with 13 hits, on their way to a 7-1 victory over the Pirates at Petco Park.

For a team that was shut out six times in May, the Padres head toward June having won five of their last eight games, and showing some semblance of sustained offensive production, which has been missing most of the season.

But will it continue in June for the Padres, who are 25-27 heading into a three-game series with the Mets on Monday?

Clint Barmes, who had three hits on Sunday, certainly thinks so -- and has thought so for quite a while.

Barmes' RBI single

"I've been saying it since I signed here; you look at that talent this team has here and it's hard not to bank on guys turning it around and picking it up," Barmes said.

"It's going to click. Offensively, it's not the year we expected so far. But guys are going to start coming around. It's about that time to start picking it up."

It appears it's already happening.

Second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who had a two-run single in the first inning, hit .279 in May after hitting just .135 in April. Will Middlebrooks, who knocked in three runs, two on his first home run at Petco Park, hit 31 points higher (.253) in May than he did in April (.222).

Middlebrooks' two-run homer

Matt Kemp has three multi-hit games in his last eight games. Justin Upton has his average back up over .300 (.307) after getting three hits. First baseman Yonder Alonso (.333) could come off the disabled list this week.

In general, things are looking up, said manager Bud Black.

"It has been a little variable with the shutouts and the game like tonight and last Sunday in Los Angeles [11 runs]," Black said.

"But I still think Matt Kemp is going to become Matt Kemp. I still think Justin Upton is going to hang around where he is, do his thing. I think that the bottom of the order is going to improve. And I still think we have Yonder Alonso and Will Myers [both on the disabled list] back at some point to help."

Gyorko can't help but feel there are better days ahead for the Padres -- from the offense and from the team in general.

"I think we're playing pretty good baseball right now. The pitchers have been throwing the ball pretty well the last 10 days or so. We're starting to get that timely hit. Put that together and it can be pretty dangerous," Gyorko said.

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