SAN DIEGO -- One of the reasons for the Padres slow start, injuries aide, was their porous defense.
How bad was it?
The Padres made 26 errors in the first 22 games of the season.
"It was ugly in April," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I told you guys we're going to play better."
Black was right. The Padres have made one error in their past 11 games, entering Sunday's game against the D-backs, with none in their past eight games.
Since May 1, the Padres are tied with the Reds and Twins for the fewest errors (15) in the Major Leagues -- a far cry from where they were in April.
"We have played good the last 25 games or so defensively, fundamentally much better. The infield has been better, outfield play has been better. I like what I'm seeing as far as playing a clean game," Black said. "We are doing better. We're making the plays we should make."
First baseman Yonder Alonso has five errors but none since April 29. Third baseman Chase Headley has four errors but none since May 14. Outfielder Will Venable has four errors but none since April 24.
"We've worked on things with a few guys," said Padres third-base coach Glenn Hoffman, who works with the infielders. "The priority has been set back on it. We knew that we were better than the start that we had."
Venable exits early with strained oblique
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Will Venable left Sunday's 6-0 loss to the D-backs in the top of the third inning with a strained right oblique.
Venable said he suffered the injury during his first at-bat, a ground-ball out to second base to start the first inning.
"I took my swing and slipped out of the box a little," Venable said. "It was a ground ball so I was running hard. I was thinking infield hit and I just tweaked it a little bit."
He was replaced in center field by Chris Denorfia.
San Diego manager Bud Black said that Venable would come to Petco Park sometime Monday -- which is an off-day for the team -- to be re-evaluated and receive treatment. No determination has been made as to whether Venable will head to the disabled list.
"We will see how it sets up," Black said. "Some [oblique strains] are nasty, some are not. Some go away quickly."
Last season, catcher Nick Hundley missed 31 games with an oblique injury. Relief pitcher Luke Gregerson missed 25 games with a similar injury.
"It doesn't feel good," Venable said after the game. "It got progressively worse with everything that I tried to do."
The Padres currently have 11 players on the disabled list.
Forsythe returns to lineup from 60-day DL
SAN DIEGO -- It would probably be perfectly fine if Logan Forsythe never ended up in Arizona again this season, especially after spending parts of the past fourth months there rehabilitating a broken bone he suffered in his left foot followed by a playing assignment with Triple-A Tucson.
On Sunday, Forsythe, who can play second base, shortstop and third base, was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. He was in the starting lineup at second base against the D-backs in the final game of a three-game series at Petco Park.
"A lot of hard work paid off," Forsythe said. "It's nice to be back up here with the guys."
Forsythe suffered a broken sesamoid bone in his left foot in Spring Training and had surgery to remove it in March. He then spent three months at the Padres' Spring Training facility in Peoria getting healthy and then playing in extended spring training games before going to Tucson.
Forsythe hit .259 in 58 at-bats with Tucson on his rehabilitation assignment. He played third base seven times for Tucson, second base three times and shortstop five times.
Forsythe, who had his right sesamoid bone removed while playing at the University of Arkansas, said his foot hasn't bothered him much in recent weeks.
"The big things were doubles, scoring from second base [on hits] and making sharp turns around the bag," Forsythe said. "I was playing all over the field, my approach came back and now I feel that I'm getting into a routine again."
The Padres planned to look at Forsythe at shortstop in Spring Training to determine if he could handle the position, knowing that he could already play third base and second base. Instead he was hurt early in camp.
Andy Parrino, who went on the disabled list Sunday with a ligament sprain in his right wrist, made the team as a utility infielder.
"It started bothering me a couple weeks ago, and then in Chicago it got to the point that I wasn't able to swing anymore," Parrino said. "All I know right now is it's some type of tendon or ligament damage, we'll see how it goes the next few days. Throwing is fine, fielding, all that -- the biggest thing right now is getting the strength back to be able to swing again."
Kotsay activated from DL, Grandal sent down
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Mark Kotsay, who has missed 30 games this season because of injuries, came off the disabled list Sunday and jumped right back into the starting lineup in right field.
To make room for Kotsay on the roster, the team optioned catcher Yasmani Grandal back to Triple-A Tucson after two games. He made his Major League debut on Saturday, going 0-for-1 after entering the game as a defensive replacement.
Kotsay has missed the past 20 games with a lower back strain, hit second in the lineup in the final game of a three-game series against the D-backs at Petco Park.
Kotsay missed the first 10 games of the season with a strained right calf.
"It's good to gets 'Kots' back," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's done very well in the positions we have put him in as a pinch-hitter or getting some starts."
Kotsay is hitting .294 in his first 34 at-bats with the team with one home run and six RBIs.
"I've been making progress since before the team left town," Kotsay said, referring to the Padres' recent 10-game road trip. "I've been gauging the way I felt and right now I feel comfortable to go out there and play."
Kotsay's return comes eight days before the team plays another round of Interleague games on the road, three games in Seattle and then three more in Oakland. The team could potentially get Kotsay a start or two at designated hitter in those games to keep his bat in the lineup.
As for Grandal, he's itching to get back to San Diego, especially after having a taste, albeit a little one, of playing in the Major Leagues.
"It kind of gave me that little extra edge where I'm going back down to Triple-A and I want to get back up here," he said.
San Diego manager Bud Black said that closer Huston Street will be reinstated from the disabled list before Tuesday's game against the Giants.
Street made his second Minor League rehabilitation assignment appearance with Class A Lake Elsinore on Sunday, allowing two runs in one inning.
To make room on the 25-man roster for Street, the team will designate right-hander Matt Palmer for assignment. Palmer allowed two runs on two hits in two innings over three appearances for the Padres.