SAN DIEGO -- Being short to the ball has helped Padres catcher Nick Hundley to some big results in the last two games, the results of getting back to the swing he worked diligently on during the offseason in his sessions with hitting coach Phil Plantier.
"Being short has been huge for me," Hundley said of having a more compact swing. "I think that I was getting myself in trouble when my hands get too far away from my body."
Hundley tied his career high with four hits in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. The previous day, Hundley launched his first home run of the season.
The sample size is small, but after getting two hits in his first 15 at-bats of the season, he has five hits over his last seven at-bats.
"I'm continually learning, and the more you play, the more you know yourself," he said. "And the better you know yourself, the more you can avoid those long downturns."
Hundley hit .358 in Spring Training and was pleased that he was able to carry the lessons that he took from his offseason sessions with Plantier to Arizona. He admits that it's easy to get away from that at times, though he's better about making adjustments on the go.
"It's definitely something you feel," Hundley said.
Kelly returns to San Diego to start elbow rehab
SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Casey Kelly, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on April 2 in Florida, flew late Monday to San Diego, where he will continue his rehabilitation.
Kelly is wearing a metal brace used to immobilize his arm. He will wear it for six weeks to not put the arm in a stressful position, he said.
Kelly, ranked No. 4 among the Padres' top prospects, had the procedure performed by noted orthopedist James Andrews in Pensacola. Kelly then returned to his Florida home to relax before heading to San Diego.
"They went in and said it was a significant tear," Kelly said. "But they said the surgery went well."
Kelly won't be able to do a lot initially but has removed the brace on occasion to do some range-of-motion exercises with the training staff.
"Everything is going slow," Kelly said. "We're letting it heal. In about 12 to 14 days, they'll remove the stitches."
For now, Kelly is adjusting to working with one good arm -- his left arm, no less. It's been an adjustment so far.
"There's a lot of things you don't think of … like brushing my teeth, eating, opening doors," Kelly said.
Kelly has already tapped into two players who had similar surgery a year ago, pitchers Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland, for advice.
"Having those guys around helps if I have questions," he said.
Around the horn: Alonso shows infield range
SAN DIEGO -- It was a wild ninth inning Wednesday for Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso, as he was constantly on the move, bouncing around the infield while the team was on defense.
After Padres manager Bud Black emptied his bench -- with the exception of reserve catcher John Baker, who would hit in the bottom of the inning -- he asked Alonso to play second base to start the inning as Mark Kotsay occupied first base.
Alonso later moved to third base in the inning and then back to second base. He didn't have a ball hit at him, though Adrian Gonzalez singled to right field, just out of the reach of a diving Alonso.
Alonso became the first player in club history to play those three positions -- first, second and third base -- in a game. He's also one of 20 players in Major League history to do so. The last was Ben Zobrist of the Rays on Sept. 23, 2010, against the Yankees.
Alonso didn't see what the big deal was.
"Buddy gave me a warning that it might happen," Alonso said. " ... It wasn't so far out of the ordinary. It's not like I was playing center field."
But it was still unusual for Alonso, who had played one game at third base before Wednesday and that was in 2011, when he was with the Reds.
"Actually, Yonder said that he had played second base before," Black said. "He said, 'I have just got to move over 25 feet [from first base].'"
The Padres were shorthanded after Carlos Quentin was essentially unavailable due to a sore right wrist. Black also used Cody Ransom in the bottom of the fifth inning to pinch-hit for starting pitcher Eric Stults.
Jesus Guzman struck out for pitcher Anthony Bass in the seventh inning. Kotsay was used in the eighth inning, flying out for Alexi Amarista. That left Baker, who hit in the bottom of the ninth.
• There's still no word when third baseman Chase Headley -- on the disabled list with a fractured tip to his left thumb -- will begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. For the second time in as many days, Headley was able to take batting practice and take ground balls before the game.
On Saturday, the team will present him with his Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards. It's also Chase Headley Bobblehead Night, with the first 25,000 fans receiving the bobbleheads.