PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Loretta was a pretty good pinch-hitter during his 15-year Major League career, so it should probably come as no surprise he has eased into his temporary transition as part of the team's television broadcasts as well as he has.
Loretta, in his third season as a special assistant in the Padres baseball operations department, worked his fourth game on Saturday as part of the Fox Sports San Diego crew. He provides insight and analysis before, during and after games while Mark Sweeney is taking time off.
Loretta, who retired after the 2009 season, worked two games on television last week and will do all five of the games of this road trip to Philadelphia and then Washington, D.C. Loretta played for five teams in his big league career, including three seasons (2003-05) with the Padres.
"I was happy to step in," Loretta said Saturday. "I've been interviewed a million times ... but I have never been the interviewer. But it's given me an appreciation for how hard these guys work. The product looks so seamless on television, but there's a lot of work that goes into it."
That's not all. The 40-year-old Loretta has thrown batting practice to the Padres before games on this trip before throwing on a suit and tie to step in front of the television cameras.
As part of his job in the Padres front office, Loretta travels to the team's Minor League affiliates during the season. He's already been to Triple-A Tucson and Double-A San Antonio, where he worked with top prospect Jedd Gyorko as he moved from third base to second base.
Black receives congrats for reaching 400th win
PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Bud Black isn't one to talk about personal accomplishments or achievements, though he did admit Sunday to getting a handful of text messages and well-wishes after getting victory No. 400 on Saturday against the Phillies.
"That was nice," he said.
Black, who has earned all 400 victories with the Padres since being named manager before the 2007 season, had no trouble recalling his first victory, a 7-0 win on Opening Day of 2007 against the Giants in San Francisco as Jake Peavy -- on his way to winning the National League Cy Young Award -- tossed six scoreless innings.
"And [catcher] Josh Bard had four hits," Black said, smiling.
Black has the second-most victories in franchise history, trailing his predecessor, Bruce Bochy, who won 951 games between 1995-2006.
"It's not easy to win a single game, let alone 400," said Padres third baseman Chase Headley, who made his Major League debut in 2007 and has witnessed more victories by Black than any other player on the active roster.
"To win 400 is just another notch for him. I think that there are far more to come."
Alonso honored for chance to use pink bats
PHILADELPHIA -- First baseman Yonder Alonso spent his first Mother's Day in the Major Leagues and had the chance to swing a pink bat for the first time against the Phillies on Sunday.
"It's awesome," Alonso said before the game. "I grew up watching guys swing pink bats and wanted to do that. It's an honor. It's for a good cause."
Alonso was one of three players to use the bats Sunday, as outfielder Chris Denorfia and shortstop Jason Bartlett did as well. Mark Kotsay would have, but he was sidelined with a lower-back injury that he suffered Saturday.
Since 2006, Major League Baseball has celebrated Mother's Day at home ballparks as a platform to raise awareness of breast cancer in the interest of prevention, treatment and a cure. Hundreds of players were expected to use pink Louisville Sluggers, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo.
"When I got the bats, the first thing I did was take a picture of them and sent it to my mom and dad," Alonso said. "I told them how proud I was to use them."
Reliever Andrew Cashner even got into the act Sunday, not with a pink bat but by wearing pink cleats from Under Armour.
Kotsay says lower back is feeling better
PHILADELPHIA -- There was good news to be had on the injury front for the Padres on Sunday, a rarity during a trying season that has already seen 11 players land on the disabled list.
Outfielder Mark Kotsay, who left Saturday's game against the Phillies with tightness in his lower back, told manager Bud Black that he was feeling better Sunday morning.
"He said last night that tomorrow [Sunday] will be big," Black said. "When I saw him today, he said that it felt good. We're going to do the best we can to stay away from him today."
Kotsay said he first felt tightness in his first-inning at-bat and then in the field during the bottom of the inning. He was replaced by James Darnell in the second inning.
Kotsay had back surgery in 2009 and previous stints on the disabled list in 2008 (back soreness) and in 2007 (back spasms). He also spent time on the disabled list in 2007 with a herniated disc and in 2003, during his first stint with the Padres, he missed time with a protruding disc in his back.
Kotsay opened the season on the disabled list with a strained right calf. He missed the first 10 games of the regular season with the injury.
In his first 34 at-bats with the team this season, Kotsay is hitting .294 with one home run and six RBIs.
Third baseman Chase Headley, who entered Sunday's game tied for first in the National League in games played (34), got his first start off of the season Sunday. It was a planned day off, one that manager Bud Black informed him of on Friday. James Darnell got the start at third base.
"I'm really indifferent to it," Headley said. "Sometimes you need it more than others. We just had an off-day [Thursday] so it wasn't like we had played 20 in a row."