How do you explain 13 runs after 3 shutouts?

You can't . . . it's baseball

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

I was reminded Friday afternoon of a doubleheader Grossmont College played at Chaffey College in 1964.

The Griffins won the first game 25-3. Lost the second 1-0.

It happens. It is baseball.

Can you always explain it? No. That's why they play the games. Over the long run of a 162-game Major League season, things average out. That's why baseball has batting averages, slugging percentages and earned run averages.

But on any given day anything can happen … and usually does.

The Padres tied a Major League record Friday for runs scored by a team that had been shutout in its previous three games.

So that would be a Major League record at the start of a season since no team before these Padres have ever been shutout in three straight games to start a season.

After getting only 11 hits in their first 92 at-bats, the Padres got 18 hits, including two home runs, in 44 at-bats Friday. They went from no runs in 30 innings to 13 in six innings.

In one game, the Padres team batting average jumped from .120 to .213 and the slugging percentage went from .141 to .309.

How do you explain that? Well, Coors Field in Denver likely was a factor in the total numbers. But that isn't the total explanation.

Honestly, you can't explain it. That's the beauty of the game. Oh, some people think they can explain everything about baseball. But they can't. And the closer they think they get, the more fun it is to experience the game and its twists.

After giving the Padres Thursday off, manager Andy Green discussed the team's hitting slump with his players before Friday afternoon's road opener at Colorado.

As Green said, the message "wasn't anything crazy."

"When things go bad, don't try to fix everything in one at-bat," Green said of his message to players. "Focus on the process rather than the big picture. Win every pitch, every at-bat."

Asked about bringing the Padres' three shutout streak to Coors Field, Green said: "Everybody loves to hit here. But we're going to have to earn it. The Rockies pitchers won't be giving it to us."

NOTES FROM THE SCOREBOOK:

• As Green predicted before Friday's road opener, the Padres wasted no time getting left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin into a game. When starter Colin Rea struggled, Erlin entered the game in the fourth inning at Coors Field and allowed one hit with two strikeouts over 3 2/3 scoreless innings to get credit for the win. With Tyson Ross on the disabled list, Erlin slides into the rotation.

• Erlin was recalled from El Paso when left-handed reliever Matt Thornton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left Achilles tendon. But Thornton could be on the disabled list well beyond the minimum 15 days. "Thornton will be in a boot for two weeks and then start the rehab process after that," said Green. Thornton suffered the injury while running before Monday's season opener against the Dodgers. "It started to bother him a bit," said Green.

• Taking Erlin's place on the El Paso roster was first baseman James Loney, who the Padres signed as a minor league free agent Thursday. Loney, too, wasted no time making a favorable impression, going 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored Friday night in his debut with the Chihuahuas. Meanwhile, Green said there was no connection between the Padres signing Loney and the decision made Thursday to start having Wil Myers take fly balls in left starting Saturday. "Wil taking flies in left had been discussed for several weeks," said Green. "Brett Wallace is going to be getting some starts at first and when he does we want to keep Wil's bat in the lineup in left. It had nothing to do with the signing of Loney."