Gyorko returns to Padres with confidence

Second baseman back from Triple-A stint after Spangenberg goes on DL

Gyorko returns to Padres with confidence

SAN DIEGO -- When the Padres placed infielder Cory Spangenberg on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a left knee contusion, they reached to their Triple-A roster for a familiar face.

The Padres recalled second baseman Jedd Gyorko from Triple-A El Paso, where he had played since the team sent him there on June 10.

Gyorko was in the starting lineup on Tuesday, going 0-for-3 in the sixth spot in the Padres' 5-0 loss against the Mariners.

Gyorko was hitting .210 when the team optioned him to El Paso. The Padres sent him there to work on his swing mechanics and approach. While there, Gyorko hit .279/.362/.492 with four home runs in 61 at-bats.

"Things started to click, I started to feel better. I think getting to play every day helped out a lot, get out there every day and work on something," said Gyorko, who didn't want to go into detail about his hitting mechanics.

He said there was one moment, though, where his swing felt right.

"I took a swing on a pitch and I got out on that swing," he said. "I went in and talk to one of the guys and said, 'I think I found something right there.' From that point right there, I started playing a lot better and I think a confidence started to grow."

The Padres wanted Gyorko to stay more in the middle of the field with his swing and also not expand the strike zone, especially on sliders away, which have given him fits since last season. He was playing only against left-handed pitchers the last few weeks before he was optioned.

"I can't say I was shocked when they called me in and told me," Gyorko said. "I hadn't played in 12 or 13 days. I wasn't surprised. All I wanted to do was play every day."

Pat Murphy was Gyorko's manager in El Paso for nearly a week before he was named interim manager of the Padres. He has since received good reports from the El Paso coaching staff.

"I believe in Jedd, that's the bottom line," Murphy said. "They [coaching staff] were happy with the way he was going about his work, the way that he was making a conscious effort to handle certain pitches and lay off certain pitches and how he treated his teammates."

The Padres needed an infielder after Spangenberg was injured Saturday against the D-backs as Nick Ahmed slid into his at second base as he made a double-play pivot.

Spangenberg gets shaken up

"I felt like he got it pretty good. I couldn't run, I couldn't plant on it," Spangenberg said. "… The next day, it wasn't getting better. It feels a little better than it did a couple of days ago. It's still a little stiff and painful."

San Diego third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who rolled his left ankle on Sunday, wasn't in the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Mariners. He grounded into a fielder's choice as a pinch-hitter to end the fifth inning. Yangervis Solarte, who had the Padres' only hit -- a one-out double in the seventh -- started at third base on Tuesday.

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.