The ups and downs of Odrisamer Despaigne

Notes on Solarte, Gyorko, Norris, Thayer

The ups and downs of Odrisamer Despaigne

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

Since his last start in May, right-handed starter Odrisamer Despaigne has been on a wild ride.

Good start. Bad start. Good start. Bad start. Good start. Bad start. Good start.

Every other start produces a different performance.

For example, in Saturday's start in St. Louis, Despaigne allowed one run on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts over five innings. In his previous start last Sunday against Arizona at Petco Park, Despaigne allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits and six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. That start wasn't really that bad, aside from the fact that Despaigne allowed two homers. Only five baserunners reached base against the Cuban -- but all five scored.

In his four "good" starts since May 31, Despaigne has allowed six runs on 22 hits and five walks with 14 strikeouts over 24 1/3 innings. He has allowed only one home run in those starts, while posting an ERA of 2.21.

On the flip side, in his three "bad" starts over the same span, Despaigne has allowed 15 runs (14 earned) on 20 hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. He has given up five homers in those starts, while recording an ERA of 7.13.

Overall, Despaigne has been gaining since his ERA soared to 6.75 after his May 15 appearance against Washington at Petco Park. In that game, Despaigne allowed seven runs on 10 hits over three innings. Despaigne has a 3.67 ERA in his last nine starts. During 54 innings over that span, he has allowed 23 runs (22 earned) on 53 hits and nine walks with 34 strikeouts.

FROM THE SCORECARD:

• Infielder Yangervis Solarte has an extra-base hit in five straight games and in seven of his last eight. His take since June 25 against the Giants is four doubles, a triple and two home runs. Starting with the June 25 game against the Giants, Solarte is 10-for-28 (.357) with a .786 slugging percentage. He is 5-for-15 during a five-game hitting streak.

• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko had his first three-hit game of the season on Saturday in St. Louis. He is 7-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak with a double, a homer, two RBIs and a run scored. Since returning from Triple-A El Paso last Tuesday, Gyorko is 7-for-19 (.368) with only four strikeouts.

• Catcher Derek Norris, who is now dealing with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder suffered in a collision at first base Friday night, was 2-for-4 on Saturday to snap out of an 8-for-65 (.123) slump since June 14. During that time, Norris had four homers -- including his two-homer game on June 28 against Arizona at Petco Park -- and eight RBIs. The skid had dropped Norris' batting average to a season-low .238 on Thursday.

• Right-handed reliever Dale Thayer, who has been sidelined since June 17 with a shoulder strain, allowed three runs on three hits, including a two-run homer, in his first game of a rehab assignment on Saturday with Double-A San Antonio at Springfield, Mo.