Patience at the plate paying off for Kemp

Padres right fielder increases walk rate in June

Patience at the plate paying off for Kemp

BALTIMORE -- A selective Matt Kemp is a dangerous Matt Kemp. The Padres right fielder has proved as much this month.

After drawing only two unintentional walks during the season's first two months, Kemp has five in June. In the process, he's decreased his rate of swings at pitches outside the zone by about eight percent this month, according to Fangraphs.

And when Kemp is patient, he's at his most productive.

"Any hitter that doesn't swing outside of the zone forces the pitcher back into the zone by not swinging at those pitches," Padres manager Andy Green said. "If you chase, you get outside of the strike zone, then pitchers have no reason to come into the strike zone.

"... When you've got to come to Matt Kemp, you're usually going to pay a price."

Opposing pitchers have, indeed, paid a price against Kemp this month. He's hitting .370/.398/.519 in June -- including a two-hit night in Wednesday's 7-2 loss to the Orioles.

"I'm just trying to have good at-bats, man," Kemp said. "[I'm] trying to get good pitches to hit, hit the ball hard. That's all I can try to do."

Kemp's 15 home runs this season rank second on the Padres, leading some to speculate of his potential inclusion in the Home Run Derby at Petco Park.

Wil Myers, whose 16 dingers lead the team, has already expressed his desire to participate. Kemp, who took part in the 2012 event in Phoenix, says he hasn't yet made up his mind, but would certainly consider it, if asked.

"They're fun to do," said Kemp, who participated in the event in 2011. "I had fun doing it. We'll see. Who knows?"

Rodney's agent files appeal

While the Padres were mulling whether or not to file an appeal of the base-hit ruling that snapped Fernando Rodney's scoreless streak Tuesday night, Rodney's agent took care of it for them.

"The agent beat us to the punch anyway," Green said. "Something's already been submitted."

The play in question was a ninth-inning Pedro Alvarez single, which bounced off the first-base bag and through the legs of Myers. It plated the first earned run Rodney has allowed this season.

Alvarez's RBI single in the 9th

Had Rodney completed the inning scoreless, he would've earned the club record for most consecutive innings without an earned run to start a season. Barring a change in the scoring decision -- which appears unlikely -- Rodney will fall one-third of an inning shy of Randy Jones' mark of 26 innings to start the 1975 campaign.

"You'd love to see a guy get a record -- to me, he's pitched well enough to be in consideration for that record," Green said. "That was a really unlucky, unfortunate situation yesterday. But he got us another save and closed out a really dicey eighth inning for us. He's been outstanding."

Injury updates

• Padres center fielder Jon Jay remains day to day with a bruised right forearm after he was hit by a pitch on Sunday. Green said Jay could miss another couple games before returning, but the Padres remain hopeful he'll avoid a stint on the disabled list.

• Catcher Derek Norris, who was hit in the side of the head while trying to block a ball in the dirt, was out of the lineup Wednesday. But Green said he simply wanted to give Norris a day off before three straight starts in Cincinnati against three left-handed pitchers. Norris is hitting .270/.314/.460 against lefties this season.

• Injured right-handers Tyson Ross (shoulder inflammation) and Andrew Cashner (strained neck) will travel with the team to Cincinnati, where they are slated to throw bullpen sessions.

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