Klesko a key to the pennant

Everyone on the Padres agrees one player has to get hot if the Padres are going to make a deeper-than-expected run in the postseason.

Ryan Klesko is that player.

But of late, the 35-year-old left fielder -- who has had problems with a bulging disk and left-handed pitchers -- has been a platoon player.

From July 23 to Aug. 18, Klesko went 8-for-47 with four doubles and three RBIs while starting only 13 of the Padres 23 games.

Some of his teammates have openly stated the importance of Klesko being the Klesko of old.

"Somebody's got to step up and carry the club, and he's the one," said UT Robert Fick. "We need him to hurry up and get going. I'm not blaming Ryno, but we need him to be hot."

While not blaming Klesko, some teammates have wondered when he might get it going. The answer could be now.

Over the weekend against the Rockies, Klesko went 4-for-7 with four RBIs. Twice he drilled line drives through the left side of the infield as the Rockies employed the Klesko shift with the shortstop almost behind second base.

Over the Padres' past nine games, Klesko has started seven and has gone 9-for-30 with two doubles and six RBIs.

"I'm beginning to feel good," Klesko said. "I've been hitting the ball harder. I didn't have much luck there for a while, but things started to fall."

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