SD@PIT: Cedeno jumps, turns and throws for the out

PITTSBURGH -- Shortstop Ronny Cedeno continues to make a solid case for a roster spot next year -- with the Padres or another team. He collected three more hits on Tuesday and is batting .300 in 34 games with the Padres after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates on Thursday.

Tuesday was Cedeno's second three-hit game since joining the Padres in August. He also has flashed some leather.

"It's such a premium position, shortstop, and to get Cedeno, Josh Byrnes our GM did such a good job getting him on our club," Padres manager Bud Black said. "You can't go without a good defender and a shortstop that knows how to play the position.

"Cedeno has been great, he's playing inspired, he's playing really, really well. He's swinging the bat, but more importantly he's making plays, and that's what talk about everyday with him, is make plays. This is a good sign for him moving forward. We'll see how the winter goes, but he's making a statement."

Cedeno, 30, knows this audition with the Padres is important at this stage of his nine-year career.

"For me, it is very important to finish this week and a half that's left strong and to play hard and play good defense," Cedeno said. "That's what I think right now, because I don't know what's going to happen next year, I don't know if I'll be here or somewhere else. But it's very important for me to take care of my career for next year."

Medica looking sharp in first MLB starts

SD@PIT: Padres strike early on Medica's RBI knock

PITTSBURGH -- First baseman Tommy Medica made his ninth straight start to begin his career on Thursday and could see plenty of action during the last week and a half of the season. Yonder Alonso is trying to get back in the lineup this season, but he is sidelined because of soreness in his right hand.

Medica went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI single in the 10-1 loss in Pittsburgh and is hitting .273 with two home runs and six RBIs, and he is adjusting well to the big leagues.

"Guys up here, the pitching, they definitely have some good stuff, that's for sure," Medica said. "The guys have been great. I knew a few of the guys, it's nice having some younger guys here, but it's been real exciting.

"I guess I'll have almost a month by the time the season's over, but it's a big learning process, just kind of seeing how the pitchers try and get you out, and just getting used to the whole environment up here is a little different."

Padres manager Bud Black likes what he's seen from Medica.

"Tommy's done a nice job really fitting in with the group," Black said. "There is a calmness to him, there's a confidence to him that we all like. On the field, coming in, I heard that this guy swings the bat, he can get the bat to the ball, he's got a nice stroke, he's got some strength to his swing, and really there hasn't been a whole lot of bad at-bats. He's swung at a few breaking balls in the dirt and chased a little bit, but overall his at-bats have been solid. I like the true ability to hit. He's done a nice job, and defensively, he's holding his own."

Worth noting

• Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko needs one home run to become the fifth second baseman to hit 20 or more home runs in his rookie season. Gyorko would join a select group that includes Dan Uggla (27 in 2006 for the Marlins), Hall of Famer Joe Gordon (25 in 1938, NYY), Danny Espinosa (21 in 2011, WAS) and Alexei Ramirez (21 in 2008, CWS).

Gyorko is second on the Padres' rookie home run list, trailing only Nate Colbert (24 in 1969).