"It [stinks] when you are out for a month like I was, but I had to make sure that I was healthy," Alonso said. "I had to make sure I was confident in myself and my approach. But now I'm healthy, and I feel normal again. I feel like I can make things happen."
He certainly has, as evidenced by the havoc Alonso created in this two-game series. He collected six hits, including a critical double in the ninth inning Wednesday that set the stage for the Padres' 5-4 comeback victory in 10 innings over the Twins at Target Field.
"That's a good sign," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's fresh, everything with the gripping the bat is good, he feels good. He's one of the guys we need to continue his hitting."
Since coming off the disabled list July 26, Alonso is hitting .429 with four doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBIs. The sample size is small, but it's a start -- especially since Alonso began the season so slowly, hitting just .210 before landing on the disabled list on June 17.
Alonso's second double of the game, coming off Twins closer Glen Perkins, set the stage for the Padres (52-61) to tie the game in the ninth inning, as Everth Cabrera fought back from an 0-2 count for a game-tying sacrifice fly.
One inning later, Seth Smith hit a home run off Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak (2-1) to put the Padres on top for good.
But just getting to Smith's at-bat wasn't easy, as the Padres survived a wild sequence in the bottom of the ninth inning. Rookie reliever Kevin Quackenbush (2-2) had runners on first and second with two outs when Eduardo Escobar jumped on a fastball, driving it to center field.
Alexi Amarista, playing shallow in case of a play at the plate, retreated and made a fine running catch to end the inning, saving the game and allowing the Padres a chance to win the game in extra innings.
"I was climbing over the rail, to be honest with you. I thought for sure [the ball would fall in]. He was playing really shallow, too," Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. "But that guy is a burner out there, and he made a great play. He pretty much won the game for them. We all thought for sure it was game-winning."
Tommy Medica had two hits for the Padres and knocked in a run. Jedd Gyorko had a run-scoring double, as well.
It was another rough outing for Padres rookie pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne, who allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
Despaigne allowed a two-run home run to Trevor Plouffe in the first inning. Plouffe got him again in the sixth for an RBI single, breaking a 3-3 tie.
"[He was leaving the ball up.] He's got to get the ball down," Black said.