The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - San Diego Padres - INSIDE PITCH

SAN DIEGO -- Suddenly, things are going the San Diego Padres' way.

The Padres continued their second-half surge Sunday with a 10-inning, 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves to complete a three-game sweep.

The win capped a 5-1 homestand against two playoff contenders -- the St.

Louis Cardinals and Atlanta.

"We're playing good ball right now," said Padres manager Bud Black, whose team is 10-6 since the All-Star break.

The Padres' surge came at a time when the club parted with three key players through trades -- right-handed closer Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels, third baseman Chase Headley to the New York Yankees and outfielder Chris Denorfia to the Seattle Mariners.

Interestingly, the trades added two Latin American players to the San Diego clubhouse -- third baseman/outfielder Yangervis Solarte (as part of the haul for Headley) and outfielder Abraham Almonte (from Seattle). Since the start of the season, the Padres also added Cuban right-handed pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne.

See the trend. The clubhouse is changing, and it could be part of a campaign to strengthen the Padres' connections to Latin America and Mexico.

After Sunday's win over Atlanta, the Padres hosted the first Mexican League game at Petco Park between the Mexico City Rojos Diablos and the Tijuana Toros. Padres co-owner Alfredo Harp Helu is also the owner of the Rojos Diablos.

"I like the combinations we have right now," said Black of the reconstituted Padres. "The roster changes have brought a little extra energy and opportunity. (Will) Venable and (Jedd) Gyorko have picked it up. The overall at-bats by the 13 position players have been better."

-----------------------------------------------

MLB Team Report - San Diego Padres - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 51-60

STREAK: Won three

NEXT: Tuesday -- Padres (RHP Jesse Hahn, 7-2, 2.01 ERA) at Twins (RHP Phil Hughes, 10-8, 4.12 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Tyson Ross threw six shutout innings Sunday, then allowed a walk, a triple and a double to the first three hitters he faced in the seventh. He finished with a solid line -- two runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over six-plus innings. Sunday marked the ninth straight game in which Ross worked six or more innings and allowed two or fewer runs. He is 4-4 during the streak with a 1.62 ERA). Ross also had a RBI single and drew a walk, and Padres manager Bud Black felt the time the right-hander spent on the bases might have adversely affected his pitching. "I felt the ball wasn't coming out of his hand as well in the seventh," Black said. "His stuff wasn't quite as good."