Offensive struggles continue for Padres

Manager says woes are a result of 'collective pressing'

Offensive struggles continue for Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Two games into the season, the Padres' bats haven't yet woken from their winter slumber. In Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Dodgers, the Friars were held scoreless for the second consecutive night, marking just the third time in franchise history they've been blanked twice to open a season.

Despite the loss, Padres skipper Andy Green kept an upbeat vibe after the game, calling for his players to relax at the plate and forget about the current scoreless drought.

"It happens every season to every single baseball team," Green said. "... Once you let go of the anxiety, you just go compete every at-bat and forget about the mounting innings without runs. The runs will come a lot quicker."

What's been the biggest reason for the early funk? Well, part of it can be attributed to the dominance of Clayton Kershaw and Scott Kazmir, the latter of whom retired 18 of 19 Padres on Tuesday, allowing only an infield single to Cory Spangenberg.

But Green said he thinks there's an aspect of Padres hitters simply trying too hard at the plate.

"I think it's collective pressing," Green said. "Guys just really want it right now. Everybody's always in search of that first hit of the season. When it finally comes, people start to relax.

"It's the same way with a run. Everybody's in search of that first run of the season. I think guys are going to smile a little bit, be relaxed and go play baseball like they can and be fine."

With the Padres set to face right-hander Kenta Maeda on Wednesday, Green said he might tinker with the lineup -- but only to neutralize the effect of the starting pitcher and not as a reactionary move to the early-season struggles.

Melvin Upton Jr., who has started the season 0-for-5, echoed Green's sentiment.

"We're two games into the season, there's no need to press now," he said. "... You can't worry about two games especially early in the year. You're going to have stretches like this. We'll pick it up offensively and we'll get things rolling."

Every team in baseball goes through dry stretches at the plate, but the timing of this one has done the Padres no favors. The opening series of the season always brings increased attention -- and increased scrutiny when the results aren't positive.

By now, first baseman Wil Myers has learned to put that into its proper perspective.

"When things are as bad as it is right away, right off the bat, you've got to know that everything's going to turn around," Myers said. "You've got to be convinced that, 'Hey, this isn't the way we're going to play this year.'"

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.