Tremors: Notes from the Quakes loss

LAKE ELSINORE-- San Diego Padres centerfielder Mike Cameron caused fits for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Thursday and in particular Jose Arredondo. Drew Toussaint is learning to believe in his defensive abilities. Sean Rodriguez may have a new career brewing.

Jose Arredondo was troubled when Mike Cameron reached second base in the first inning. He faked a throw over twice and nearly balked as he fell awkwardly after a third time faking a throw. When he did throw to Colt Morton, he eventually whiffed him.

Arredondo then threw the next ball to second base in an attempt to pick off Cameron and the ball sailed into the outfield, an error on the right-hander. He finally went to the plate after a visit from catcher Michael Collins and induced a broken bat ground out to end the frame.

Eleven times in the game, Arredondo either threw to a bag or faked a throw, including a fake to third and look to first move four times in the same inning. Those numbers are not a misprint.

Arredondo went five-plus, allowing three earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. He threw 90 pitches with 58 strikes and tossed a first-pitch strike to 16 of the 24 batters he faced. He topped out at 94 on the radar gun.

Michael Collins also went after Cameron, throwing behind him in the sixth inning. The ball went wide of first and pushed Cameron to second base. An RBI single by Colt Morton was the payback for the errant throw.

Collins redeemed his gaffe with a two-run homer over the left field wall to close the score to 3-2 in the seventh inning.

Outfielder Drew Toussaint is still learning the ropes in left field. He says the biggest aid he received happened in the Instructional Leagues.

Working with the roving fielding instructor, Toussaint has begun to understand the angles a ball takes when it leaves the bat.

"Instead of just running around out there, I am learning to see the angles of the ball," he admitted.

Baltazar Lopez homered for the first time since being suspended for violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in April of 2005. Lopez had 194 at bats last year for Rancho Cucamonga but did not send one out of the park. He had nine jacks the year before with Cedar Rapids.

Sean Rodriguez is the early leader of the Quakes or perhaps he is the jester. While everyone was taking batting practice, Rodriguez stood behind the plate and goaded each of them, throwing compliments on lazy pop flies and calling fly outs a hit.

"That was a double," Rodriguez chided.

Having started the season with a .412 average over his first nine games, the shortstop should be smiling and making jokes.

Want to know how different the Padres and Angels systems are? The Padres swung at six first pitches in a given at bat and the Angels went to work at the first offering 18 times.

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