STL@SD: Baker throws out Descalso stealing second

SAN DIEGO -- While playing catch earlier this season, Padres pitcher Jason Marquis offered some advice to catcher John Baker.

Marquis saw that Baker's throws were carrying well, and told Baker to slow down and stop rushing to get the ball out of his hand.

He made the adjustment and has thrown out four consecutive would-be basestealers, including Daniel Descalso of the Cardinals in the sixth inning on Tuesday. Baker has already caught five out of 13 baserunners this season after throwing five out of 54 in all of 2012.

Baker ranks in the top 10 in the National League among catchers with as many or more games (14) this season.

"I think I had to get out of the mindset of me trying to force being fast because I lacked the arm strength last year coming back from surgery," said Baker, who had arm surgery in 2010 and only played in one game in 2011. "When you slow down, you're more under control and everything happens a little bit smoother."

Baker said last year he felt as though he had to get his entire body into his throw and got out of control sometimes. He made an extra effort to practice throwing on the field, especially when the team is at home.

"I don't think there's any better practice than standing at the same spot and throwing to the same place you do in the game," Baker said. "The more you do that, the more comfortable you are. And you can trust your mechanics and just let the ball go."

Richard makes promising second rehab start

COL@SD: Richard blanks Rockies over six strong frames

SAN DIEGO -- Padres pitcher Clayton Richard made his second Minor League rehabilitation start on Tuesday for Triple-A Tucson in Omaha, allowing two runs in six innings.

Richard, on the disabled list since May 5 with an intestinal virus, has worked on using a higher arm slot during his stint with Tucson and during a simulated game on May 11.

The results, manager Bud Black said Wednesday, have been good. On Tuesday, Richard got 12 ground-ball outs, the results of repeating his raised arm slot and getting on top of the ball.

"Lots of ground-ball outs yesterday, and he held his velocity into the seventh inning," Black said. "... Our reports from the Triple-A staff and from [assistant general manager] A.J. Hinch, who was there, was that the arm slot looked a bit higher than what we saw through April and the early part of May. So that's a good thing.

"I think that's produced a little bit better sink on the ball so it's good to see that the results were there in competition."

Richard was 0-4 with an 8.54 ERA in six starts before he was felled by an intestinal virus that stuck with him for a month. Once he was strong enough to pitch, he made several side sessions using the new arm slot and then did so in a simulated game in St. Petersburg on May 11 before the Padres faced the Rays.

In two starts with Tucson, Richard is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings and no walks.

So what's next?

Richard was set to arrive in San Diego before Wednesday's game against the Cardinals, though Black wouldn't commit to when or where he'll pitch again.

Forsythe, Maybin are ready for game action

LAD@SD: Maybin rips a line-drive solo home run

SAN DIEGO -- A pair of not-so injured Padres are heading to Arizona to play in games Friday, as infielder Logan Forsythe and outfielder Cameron Maybin work their way back from the disabled list.

Forsythe, out since March 31, retroactive to March 22, because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, will head to the team's temporary workout facility in Surprise and will serve as the designated hitter in Friday's game.

Maybin, on the disabled list since April 17 with right wrist impingement, worked out with the Padres on Wednesday. He'll head to Tucson on Wednesday and play for the Padres' Triple-A affiliate on Friday.

Forsythe is on the 60-day disabled list while Maybin is on the 15-day DL.

"Back in action," Maybin said. "I'm ready to do some baseball activities. I've been feeling good and I'm ready to get out of here and get back on track."

Forsythe figures to spend considerably more time in Arizona than Maybin because he's missed so much time.

Maybin, who was hitting .091 in 33 at-bats at the time of his injury in April, might get around 30 or so at-bats with Tucson, though Padres manager Bud Black will have a better idea once he starts playing.

"It's good to see Cam and Logan playing," Black said.

Short hops

• Outfielder Carlos Quentin wasn't in the starting lineup on Wednesday for the second time in as many games as his left knee continues to bother him after an awkward slide in Monday's victory over the Cardinals. He had a cortisone injection and manager Bud Black thinks he'll be ready to play Friday, when the Padres open a three-game series at Chase Field against the D-backs.