MIAMI -- When Logan Forsythe was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on June 10, the Padres were fourth in the National League West with a 29-34 record.
Seventeen games later, San Diego is in the midst of an 11-6 run that includes series sweeps of the NL East-leading Braves and NL West-leading D-backs. The Padres boast a 40-40 record and entered Saturday trailing Arizona by only 2 1/2 games.
San Diego has been winning despite the absence of several key players, including second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin.
Manager Bud Black was quick to credit Forsythe -- Gyorko's replacement -- as a key cog in the Padres' recent run.
"He's been a big part of us climbing back into this," Black said. "We've missed [shortstop Everth Cabrera], we've missed Jedd, we've missed [first baseman] Yonder [Alonso]. Logan and Kyle [Blanks] have done really well getting consistent playing time."
Forsythe entered Saturday batting .303 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, 32 totals bases and nine runs in 17 games. All three of his homers have either tied a game or given the Padres a lead, including a two-run shot in a 9-2 victory over the Marlins on Friday.
Although he committed two costly errors that allowed the decisive runs to score in a 7-5 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday, Forsythe has otherwise played good defense, including two diving catches at second and in left field this month.
When hearing of Black's praise, Forsythe was quick to deflect the spotlight.
"I don't really have a take on that," Forsythe said. "We've just been playing really good baseball together all around. Everybody's stepping up from the pitching, defense, offensively. Guys are starting to play a lot better, and we're starting to play a lot better together. That's been a big key."
Forsythe has also shown a tendency to spray the ball around the field. Three of his last five hits have gone to center or right field, and seven of the right-handed hitter's 11 RBIs have been to either center or the opposite field.
"When Logan's using the center of the field and pulling the sticks middle in, that's a great sign," Black said.
Gyorko tests leg with swings, grounders
MIAMI -- Jedd Gyorko felt some improvement in his right leg Saturday after Padres trainers examined him Friday. The second baseman experienced tightness while running the bases Wednesday in a rehab game with Double-A San Antonio.
Gyorko planned to test his leg by taking swings and fielding grounders before the Padres' game against the Marlins on Saturday.
"I can still feel it a little bit, but I think it's definitely getting better," Gyorko said of the tightness.
San Diego manager Bud Black added: "He's feeling better, so he's on the field today."
Gyorko said he did not feel discomfort when playing in the field. He exited Wednesday's rehab game two innings after first experiencing the tightness, trying to stretch a first-inning single into a double.
"We haven't really devised any sort of schedule yet," Black said. "We're going to see how the next couple of days go. We'll continue to progress him and then we'll have something a little more definitive."
As Black said Friday, there was still no timetable set for Gyorko's return Saturday. Gyorko echoed his manager's words.
"It's hard to put a timetable on it, because you're not sure how it's going to react," Gyorko said.
Gyorko has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 10 with a strained right groin he sustained in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies the previous day.
"It's definitely a lot better than what it was then," Gyorko said.
Black added: "According to Jedd, what he experienced in San Antonio was not nearly what he experienced in Colorado."
Alonso close to resuming baseball activities
MIAMI -- Injured first baseman Yonder Alonso is getting closer to returning to the field. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 6 with a fractured bone in his right hand.
Alonso was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays on May 31.
"He's getting closer to doing full baseball activities," Padres manager Bud Black said. "By that, I mean grounders, throwing, hitting in the cage, hitting off a live arm. Not the soft toss or the tee work."
Before Alonso could rejoin San Diego's lineup, Black said the first baseman needed to get his hand strength back, face live pitching and play in at least five games.
Alonso is not with the Padres on their road trip. However, once the 26-year-old resumes baseball activities, Black wants him back with the club before beginning a rehab assignment.
"I'd like to get him here," Black said. "If he's hitting, I'd like him to hit with us."
Cabrera's rehab expected to be short
MIAMI -- The Padres are hopeful that injured shortstop Everth Cabrera could rejoin them as early as Thursday in Boston after a brief rehab assignment with Class-A Fort Wayne next week.
San Diego manager Bud Black says the Padres' tentative schedule has Cabrera joining the Tincaps on the road in South Bend, Ind., on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Cabrera is eligible to be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. He has been sidelined since June 19 with a strained hamstring.
"We still think he's a couple of days away from playing in a game," Black said.
Cabrera went through another workout Saturday before San Diego's game against Miami at Marlins Park. The 26-year-old said he felt 80 percent healthy Friday.
"We want to make sure that he's ready to go when he goes to play," Black said Saturday. "He's doing well. He's going to go through another good day today. He's going to run today."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.