Alonso marks return to lineup with 3-hit night

Alonso marks return to lineup with 3-hit night

SAN DIEGO -- Before Tuesday's game against the Mets, Padres' manager Bud Black said he liked the way Yonder Alonso was swinging the bat before he landed on the disabled list last month with a right-shoulder bruise.

Alonso's three hits and two runs scored during his first game back with the Padres -- a 7-2 victory over the Mets-- did nothing to diminish Black's keenness for Alonso's swing and his production.

"With Yonder, he's at his best when he's using the whole field," Black said. "We need him to continue to do this. Someone asked me today if he can be a spark. I said, 'If he plays well.' So, yes, he can be a spark."

After missing 23 games, Alonso came out swinging early and often as the Padres evened their series with the Mets.

He singled to start the second inning, igniting a frame where the Padres scored four runs. He added two more singles and made a nice leaping catch of a Lucas Duda line drive to start the sixth inning.

Alonso snares liner

"I tried to take what they give me, focus pitch to pitch," Alonso said. "Early in my career, I tried to do too much. I've learned from that. As long as I have good at-bats and swing at strikes, hopefully good things will happen."

Alonso was hitting .333 in 87 at-bats before he injured his shoulder in a game against the D-backs on May 7. After a period of rest, he headed out on a Minor League rehabilitation stint, where he had four hits and seven walks with High-A Lake Elsinore and Triple-A El Paso.

"I was just trying to see pitches, getting my work in, having good at-bats, having solid at-bats," he said. "I had some plays where I dove, where I had to throw the ball. My body feels good, my shoulder feels good."

Alonso exits after dive

Now he'll try to pick up where he left off, trying to help an offense that has scuffled at times.

"[It's] just taking it pitch-by-pitch, not trying to do too much, trying to get on base and relying on the rest of the guys to score me," Alonso said. "Hopefully I'll try to do the same thing, have solid at-bats, put the barrel on the ball, and hopefully good things will happen."

To make room for Alonso on the 25-man roster, the Padres optioned right-handed reliever Cory Mazzoni back to El Paso. In his second stint with the Padres this season, Mazzoni allowed two earned runs in five innings with six strikeouts. Overall, he's allowed eight earned runs in seven innings.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.