Padres' rookie has multi-hit performances in first two MLB games
By Carlos Collazo
SAN DIEGO -- After making a splash by homering in his Major League debut Saturday night, Padres rookie Patrick Kivlehan kept things going during Sunday's 9-1 win over the D-backs.
Kivlehan was responsible for San Diego's first hit -- for the second straight game -- in the third inning, singled again in the sixth, drew two walks, scored three runs and tacked on an RBI for good measure.
"It's fun. He's just playing a game, and making the big league game look pretty easy, getting on base every single time today," said manager Andy Green. "He's hit a curveball, he's hit a fastball [inside] out of the ballpark, hit an offspeed pitch through the right side [Saturday], he's taken a couple walks.
"He's done a little bit of everything. So as the league tries to figure out what he does or doesn't do well, he's making it hard on them right now."
Kivlehan joins Anthony Rizzo -- who comes to Petco Park Monday with the Cubs -- as the only two Padres to reach base six times in their first two games. Additionally, he is one of four San Diego players with at least seven total bases after their first two games. John Sipin (1969), Yasmani Grandal (2012), and Tommy Medica (2013) are the others.
"Kivlehan, gosh," center fielder Travis Jankowski said, "I don't know if he's gotten out since he's been up."
Arizona starter Braden Shipley had more knowledge on Kivlehan than most Major League pitchers will have at this point, having faced him on June 14 when both players were in Triple-A. Kivlehan went 1-for-3 against Shipley that day, and said his familiarity with the 24-year-old righty helped him Sunday afternoon.
But even against Major League pitchers he hasn't seen before, Kivlehan is more comfortable than he expected he would be at this point.
"Honestly, I was way more nervous before the game," he said. "Like the five hours leading up to [my debut] than I was during the game. Once I got out there and started playing it was just like any other game."
With multi-hit efforts in his first two big league games, Kivlehan joined fellow San Diego rookie Jankowski as one of four Padres players to start his career with consecutive multi-hit games -- Sipin and Juan Bonilla (1981) round out the group.
"I don't know, I'm kind of just relaxed up there," Kivlehan said. "I'm in one of those modes where I just want to help the team win any way I can, and if that's taking a walk, [I'll] take a walk. If it's [hit] a single, take that and drive in a run."
Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.