PHOENIX -- The Padres had won two games in a row and six of their last 10 entering Monday night's matchup against the D-backs. They trail the first-place Giants by 15 games in the National League West, but there is reason for optimism.
Entering Monday night, Carlos Quentin was hitting .311 with seven doubles and seven home runs with 16 RBI in 27 games since he returned from the disabled list. Alexi Amarista had six hits in his last 11 at-bats, including three home runs, in his last four games.
Amarista hit a home run in his first at-bat Monday.
"We are starting to get some guys back and it takes a while to integrate themselves back in," Padres manager Bud Black said. "There's a continuity factor going on now with the position players. On the pitching side, things have smoothed out a little bit."
The Padres still rank at the bottom or near the bottom of every offensive category in the National League.
"Even though numbers are not where we want them," Black said. "Statistically, they are down compared to other clubs but I do sense better things are happening."
Black impressed with Bauer's routine
PHOENIX -- Padres manager Bud Black has never seen the extensive pregame routine that D-backs right-hander Trevor Bauer uses, but the former big league pitcher is a fan of sport-specific exercises and can understand Bauer's thought process.
Bauer, drafted by the D-backs out of UCLA last year, is scheduled to square off against San Diego's Andrew Cashner on Tuesday.
"A lot of guys are naturally gifted and other guys have to train and throw," Black said. "Ultimately, it's the survival of the fittest, and if a guy is able to throw a lot, I think it is awesome. Now, there is a component of being able to step back and rest your arm when you need to, but I'm a proponent of throwing."
Bauer's routine starts about 120 minutes before each start and includes a series of yoga-like exercises and long tosses that can reach 350 feet.
"Last year, he was at the Pauley Pavilion watching games and this year he is in the big leagues," Black said. "He must be doing something right."
Stults making progress in lat recovery
PHOENIX -- Left-hander Eric Stults, on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 4, with a strained left lat muscle, is making progress.
"He's ready to throw off the mound, so we brought him over here to put our eyes on him," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's getting closer to being active."
Stults was scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday and another on Wednesday before the club makes a decision on his next step.
"It's good to see the depth start to get healthy and back into the fold," Black said.