Barmes, Amarista hitting .359 since May 31

Each has three doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBIs in June

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Will Middlebrooks started a game at shortstop on May 23 and made several other appearances at short since, raising speculation that he might move to shortstop.

But since he first played at short, the Padres incumbent shortstops - Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes - have been two of the Padres leading hitters.

Barmes, who was 3-for-4 Saturday night with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored, is hitting .412 (14-for-34) with three doubles, a triple and a homer with six RBIs and four runs scored in nine starts since May 31.

Amarista is hitting .318 (14-for-44) in June with the same three doubles, a triple and a home. He has six RBIs and six runs scored this month.

Since the last day in May, Amarista and Barmes have hit a combined .359 (28-for-78) with six doubles, two triples, 12 RBIs and 10 runs scored. Barmes' batting average has climbed from .224 to .293. Amarista's batting average has climbed from .182 to .218.

Meanwhile, Middlebrooks is hitting .189 (10-for-53) in June with two homers and six RBIs. His batting average has fallen from .238 to .225.

FROM THE SCORECARD:

--Right-handed started Tyson Ross needed only 111 pitches Saturday night in Phoenix to throw a complete-game - the first by a Padres pitcher this season - against the Diamondbacks. Ross allowed one run on four hits and a walk while averaging 12.3 pitches per inning. In his three previous outings, Ross averaged 19.1 pitches per inning while giving up nine runs on 21 hits and 10 walks in just 16 innings. The difference? Command and starting with strike one.

--Catcher Derek Norris has hit six of his home runs since May 29 with 13 RBIs in 20 games. But he is hitting only .198 (16-for-81) over those 13 games with eight walks for a .270 on-base percentage and a .432 slugging percentage.

--Left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke has concluded the Single-A Lake Elsinore portion of his rehab assignment and will advance to Double-A San Antonio this week. Luebke allowed one run on a hit with a strikeout in three one-inning outings with the Storm. He has up to 30 days on his rehab assignment before the Padres have to activate him to the Major League roster.

--Second baseman Jedd Gyorko seems to be hitting his stride with Triple-A El Paso. He hit his second homer in as many games then had a walk-off single in the ninth Saturday. Gyorko was 2-for-5 with the two RBIs and is now hitting .270 (10-for-37) with three homers and seven RBIs in nine games for the Chihuahuas. He is 5-for-9 over the last two nights with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored.