What if Kemp, Upton get hot at same time?

Another proposition to ponder as trade deadline nears

What if Kemp, Upton get hot at same time?

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

One game does not a season make, or even a hot streak.

And with the July 31 trading deadline rapidly approaching, there are no givens about the identities of the players who will still be in Padres uniforms on Aug. 1.

But what happens if outfielders Matt Kemp and Justin Upton get hot at the same time?

Friday night marked the first time this season that the No. 3 and 4 hitters homered in the same game. And those homers, paired with second baseman Jedd Gyorko's two-run homer, powered the Padres to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies in the second half opener at Petco Park.

Fact: The Padres are now 14-2 in games in which both Kemp and Upton have at least one RBI.

"That's the first time we've homered in the same game," Kemp said rhetorically, after learning it happened 91 games into the season.

"We have to do that more often."

If they do, how far does that carry the Padres up the playoff ladder?

Kemp is a notorious fast finisher. Over the past two seasons, plus Friday's game, Kemp is hitting .321 (89-for-278) after the All-Star break with 22 doubles, a triple, 20 home runs and 64 RBIs.

Kemp's ninth home run of the season in the first inning Friday night extended his season-best hitting streak to six straight games. He is 11-for-24 (.458) during the streak with three homers and six RBIs. The home run was off Rockies left-handed starter Jorge De La Rosa. Kemp is 20-for-46 (.435) in his career against De La Rosa. The 20 hits are the second-most by Kemp against any pitcher in his career. The homer was Kemp's third in five games, fifth in 17 games and eighth in 34 games. Upton's 15th homer was his first in 12 games and only his fourth since May 24.

From the scorebook

  • De La Rosa entered this season with an 8-3 lifetime record and a 4.40 ERA against the Padres. This season, he is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA against them. He's allowed 15 runs (12 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks in 12 innings. Kemp's and Gyorko's homers off De La Rosa on Friday night came in the first inning. Kemp has hit four career homers against De La Rosa. Gyorko is 13-for-19 in his career against De La Rosa.
  • Left-hander Cory Luebke, who has had two rounds of Tommy John surgery since his last Major League appearance early in the 2012 season, had his latest comeback attempt thwarted Thursday when he had surgery to reroute a nerve in his elbow. Luebke will miss four to six weeks, although Padres manager Pat Murphy said he expects Luebke to be on a throwing program before the end of the season. "The surgery was to take pressure off the nerve. It had slipped out of the tunnel built for it," said Murphy. When Luebke first injured his elbow in 2012, he was 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA in five starts, and developing into the ace of the Padres' staff.
  • Right-handed starter James Shields recorded his first win since June 3 on Friday night. He opened the season 7-0, then lost three straight decisions. Shields also recorded the 32nd pick-off of his career, which is the third-highest total among active pitchers and the 10th-most by a right-handed pitcher since the start of the 1970 season. Although Shields was under constant pressure Friday night -- he allowed seven hits and four walks in five innings and stranded seven Rockies -- Shields has a 2.63 ERA over his last four starts.
  • Upton was 1-for-3 with his 15th homer Friday night and is hitting .307 (46-for-150) in 41 games at Petco Park this season. Twelve of his 15 homers have come at Petco Park, three shy of the single-season record at Petco Park set by Will Venable in 2013.
  • Gyorko is hitting .283 (13-for-46) since being recalled from Triple-A El Paso on June 30. He has two homers and five RBIs in 13 games since his return.