The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - San Diego Padres SAN DIEGO -- When Chris Denorfia signed with the San Diego Padres as a minor-leaguer on Dec. 17, 2009, the outfielder described his career as being "at a crossroads."

Denorfia was 29 at the time. Two seasons removed from elbow reconstruction surgery, Denorfia was released by the Oakland A's after spending the majority of the season at Triple-A, where he hit .271 with nine homers and 49 RBIs in 107 games.

"I knew I was at a crossroads," Denorfia said Thursday after being traded to the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Abraham Almonte and minor league right-handed pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen. "There was a question about being a 4-A player."

But Denorfia found his niche with the Padres.

"I hit it right here," Denorfia said Thursday of the opportunity the Padres presented. "I was at the right time with the right team. I took the chance and ran with it. And they liked me. All that allowed me to enjoy the game."

Which is why the 34-year-old Denorfia said he was leaving the Padres with mixed emotions.

"This place is my home," Denorfia said of the Padres, who fell 6-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. "This is where I got my shot. I'm excited about the opportunity with the Mariners. I understand the situation I was in."

Denorfia was hitting .242 this season with 10 doubles, three triples, one home run and 16 RBIs in 89 games. Over parts of five seasons with the Padres, the versatile Denorfia, who spent much of his time in San Diego platooning in right field with the left-handed-hitting Will Venable, hit .275 in 573 games.

For each of the past three seasons, Denorfia was one of the most sought after Padres at trading deadlines. He can play all three outfield positions. Last year, he hit .279 with career highs of 10 homers, 47 RBIs, 132 hits and 473 at-bats.

Denorfia was the third member of the Padres core to be traded this month, following right-handed closer Huston Street (to the Los Angeles Angels) and third baseman Chase Headley (to the New York Yankees) out the door.

----------------------------------------------- MLB Team Report - San Diego Padres RECORD: 48-60

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Braves (LHP Mike Minor, 4-6, 5.23 ERA) at Padres (LHP Eric Stults, 3-13, 5.22 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--OF Abraham Almonte, 25, who was acquired by the Padres on Thursday in the trade that sent OF Chris Denorfia to the Mariners, will join San Diego's 25-man roster on Friday. San Diego also got RHP Stephen Kohlscheen. The switch-hitting Almonte, a native of the Dominican Republic, was hitting .267 with 10 doubles, three triples and six homers for 31 RBIs and 42 runs in 277 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma this season. Originally signed by the Yankees, Almonte hit .264 with four doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 72 at-bats for the Mariners last season.

--RHP Stephen Kohlscheen, 25, was acquired by the Padres along with OF Abraham Almonte in the trade that sent OF Chris Denorfia to the Mariners. Kohlscheen went a combined 3-1 with six saves and a 2.70 ERA in 38 appearances in Double-A and Triple-A in the Seattle chain this season.

--RHP Odrisamer Despaigne gave up six earned runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings Thursday in a 6-2 loss to the Cardinals. That is one earned run fewer than the 27-year-old Cuban gave up over 38 innings in his first six major league starts. His ERA jumped from 1.66 to 2.68 in one start.

--2B Jedd Gyorko is hitting .500 (7-for-14) with a double, two home runs and six RBIs in five games since being activated from the disabled list after missing 44 games with plantar fasciitis. Hitting only .162 when he was injured, Gyorko has raised his batting average to .183. He homered Thursday to give him home runs in back-to-back games.