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Padre Notebook : Hoyt May Be Activated for Opener

Times Staff Writer

LaMarr Hoyt showed up to throw batting practice Saturday, but the batters didn’t get much practice.

He kept throwing it by them.

Dane Iorg swung and missed.

John Kruk swung and missed.

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And so on.

“That boy didn’t go in no rehab, did he?” Bobby Brown said. “You tell me he hasn’t been throwing at all?”

Hoyt was sharp, so sharp that it’s likely he’ll be on the active roster by opening day. Saturday was only his second day of throwing since late February, but the layoff apparently did no harm.

“Yeah, he may be activated for opening day, and he was very happy about that,” Padre Manager Steve Boros said Saturday. “He wants to be (activated). He understands that it may not work out, but he’s hopeful that it will.

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“We told him that if he is one of the 10 pitchers (to open the season), we’ll work him out of the bullpen a couple innings at a time, and after a couple of weeks, he’ll slip into the rotation as the fifth starter and give us five or six innings. We won’t wait until he can go nine to use him as a starter. Once he can give us five innings or so, he’s in the rotation.”

Hoyt will throw again today in Yuma while his teammates are playing the Angels in Palm Springs. On Monday, he will be in San Diego for meetings with his attorneys, but he plans to rejoin the team Tuesday night in Anaheim for another game with the Angels. He will again throw batting practice that night.

Next weekend, he will pitch in one of the Padres’ final exhibition games in Las Vegas. It will be decided then if he’s ready to be activated.

He’s still not talking to the media, but he’s telling teammates that he’s fine. He rode the stationary bike Saturday and remarked how fit he felt. He has lost his beer belly entirely.

During the pregame calisthenics Saturday, Boros told his players: “We played a bad game yesterday (a 9-2 loss to Seattle), and let’s try to get it in gear today.”

They did.

Pitcher Mark Thurmond threw six shutout innings, and home runs by Kevin McReynolds and Jerry Royster propelled them to a 5-3 victory over Oakland.

It had been 5-0 entering the ninth, but reliever Goose Gossage gave up four hits, two walks (he walked in one run) and three runs.

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“I’m still not concerned about Goose,” Boros said. “I’ve said it so many times--getting up emotionally is so important to him, and he doesn’t get up in the spring.”

Tony Gwynn extended his hitting streak to 15 games (23 for 56, .411 average), and Tim Flannery has hit in 12 of his last 13 games (18 for 48, .333). Each had two hits in Saturday’s victory.

Gwynn also is tied with Bip Roberts for the team-high in stolen bases (seven).

“He (Gwynn) is going about his baserunning like he went about his outfield play a couple of years ago,” Boros said. “He wants to be better, and he’s working at it.”

Roberts was caught stealing again Saturday (he was twice out stealing Friday), and Boros said his problem is that he slides too soon.

“He was on the ground so long,” Boros said of Saturday’s attempt. “We’ve talked to him about it.”

The Padres ended the Yuma portion of their spring with a 12-12 record. Rookie John Kruk won the team’s annual award for the camp’s most-improved player. Last year’s winner was Jerry Davis, but Davis lost his job to Kruk this spring.

They also awarded 18-year-old shortstop Rafael Valdez, a Dominican, as the most-improved minor leaguer.

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Accident of the day: During batting practice, A’s first baseman Dave Kingman crushed a home run to left field that crushed Padre catcher Terry Kennedy’s rear car window.

Kennedy could only throw up his arms.


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