Padres happy to be home after rough start

Notes on Myers, Sanchez, bullpen

Padres happy to be home after rough start

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

The Padres have Monday off.

Finally.

The Padres' 12-inning, 5-2 win at San Francisco Sunday -- thanks to homers by Hector Sanchez and Wil Myers -- capped perhaps the toughest schedule stretch in the Major Leagues for the first month of the season.

The Padres are 11-16 after the season's first 27 games. No team in the Major Leagues has played more games.

And 18 of the Padres' first 27 games were on the road. Again, no Major League team has played more road games in April.

After Monday's day off -- only their second of the season -- the Padres return to Petco Park to open an eight-game homestand with the first of three games with National League West-leading Colorado.

Fifteen of the Padres' next 20 games are at Petco Park. And the Padres will play 18 home games in May and another 16 in June. Thirty-five of the Padres' next 55 games are at Petco Park - representing an excellent opportunity for a young team.

Meanwhile, the Padres came from behind both Saturday and Sunday to take the three-game series from the Giants in San Francisco.

Remember last season, when the Padres lost their first nine games of the season against the Giants? Well, they are 12-4 in the 16 games since then against the Giants, and are 4-2 against San Francisco this season.

Another area where the Padres have improved was the disturbing trifecta of Sundays, day games and series finales. Last season, the Padres were 6-20 on Sundays, 15-35 in day games and 12-40 in the final games of series.

While Sunday's win was only their first in four Sunday games this season, the Padres are 3-5 in day games and 3-5 in the final games of their eight series to date.

GAME NOTES:

• The Padres' bullpen worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday, keeping the Padres in position to win. Over those 6 2/3 innings, four relievers allowed only two hits and no walks with six strikeouts. Left-hander Brad Hand struck out two in two perfect innings to lower his earned run average to 0.69 (one run on five hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 13 innings). Left-hander Ryan Buchter (3.09 ERA) worked two scoreless innings. Right-hander Brandon Maurer lowered his ERA to 2.61 with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and left-hander Jose Torres picked up his first career save with a perfect 12th.

• You can argue that the Padres' biggest at-bats in their two come-from-behind wins in San Francisco were the two, three-run homers by Myers - the first capping the eight-run sixth-inning Saturday, and the second being the game-winner in Sunday's 12-inning, 5-2 win. But you can make arguments for the two at-bats by pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez, who drew a bases-loaded walk Saturday to put the Padres ahead, then tied Sunday's game with a two-run homer in the ninth.

• Sanchez's pinch-hit homer Sunday was the Padres' first game-tying homer in the ninth inning or later since Adrian Gonzalez on Sept. 16, 2009. Sanchez now has two homers against his former Giants teammates.

• Myers finished April hitting .310 with 35 hits, seven doubles, two triples, seven homers, 20 RBIs and 18 runs scored.