Pomeranz has knuckle curve in common with Hooton

Hitting notes from two straight wins

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

Drew Pomeranz is not the only pitcher in the Padres organization known for his knuckle curve.

Fort Wayne pitching coach Burt Hooton was famous for the knuckle curve, which helped him compile a 151-136 record in 15 seasons with a 3.38 earned run average. Hooton was selected to the 1981 All-Star Game while a member of the Dodgers.

The knuckle curve adds movement to the normal curve, although it is slightly harder to control.

After three starts with the Padres, Pomeranz, 27, is 2-1 with a 2.04 earned run average. In 17 2/3 innings, the left-hander has allowed six runs (five earned) on 11 hits and nine walks with 25 strikeouts. He had a career-high 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings against the Pirates Wednesday while allowing four hits and an unearned run.

Pomeranz, came from the Oakland A's last Dec. 2 in the trade that sent first baseman Yonder Alonso to the A's,is the first Padre pitcher with two wins this season.


• Left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. has reached base 11 times in his last five starts, hitting .316 (6-for-19) with a triple, a homer, three RBIs and three runs scored. Upton has also drawn five walks in the last two games. Three of his four steals this season have come in the past five games. On defense, Upton made two excellent catches Wednesday night

• leaping at the wall in left to catch what would have been a two-run homer, then running down a sinking drive down the line in short left.

• Shortstop Alexei Ramirez is 7-for-20 in his last five games with a double, a triple, four RBIs and four runs scored with three walks. Over the five games, he has a .435 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage for a .935 OPS.

• First baseman Wil Myers is hitting .425 when he puts the ball in play this season. But he also has 22 strikeouts in 60 at-bats and has struck out at least once in all 15 Padres games this season.

• Center fielder Jon Jay is 6-for-9 with a double and three walks since his 0-for-18 streak was snapped last Saturday night.