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Quentin making his presence felt

The Sports Xchange

Not only is Carlos Quentin a threat anytime he steps to the plate; the Padres' cleanup hitter also is making everyone around him better.

Quentin hit a three-run homer Tuesday night as the Padres defeated the Chicago Cubs 7-4 at Petco Park. Quentin has 12 homers and 31 RBI in 190 at-bats since coming off the disabled list and making his Padres debut on May 28.

But the hitters immediately in front and behind Quentin in the lineup also have improved markedly since he joined the lineup.

Chase Headley was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. He has 62 RBI on the season, two shy of his career high, set in 2004.

At the time of Quentin's return, Headley was hitting .243 with 11 doubles, five homers and 22 RBI in the season's first 49 games. In 63 games since, Headley is hitting .295 with 11 doubles, 10 homers and 40 RBI.

Black subscribes to the theory that Quentin makes the hitters around him better simply by the presence of the threat he represents. "Teams don't want to deal with Carlos with men on," Black said recently. "Headley is seeing better pitches to hit."

Catcher Yasmani Grandal was hitting .312 in the fifth spot in the order with five doubles, a triple and five homers in 19 starts before he suffered an oblique strain. Yonder Alonso is 8-for-27 with three doubles, a homer and three RBI in seven games since Grandal went on the disabled list.

Alonso, who didn't start Tuesday night because of a "hamstring issue," has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, going 17-for-45 (.378) with eight doubles, two homers and nine RBI.

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