Just hours after executive chairman Ron Fowler said he was frustrated and embarrassed by the state of the San Diego Padres, they responded with one of their best performances of the season.
Now they're hoping they can use those harsh words to build more momentum.
Colin Rea returns from a brief stint in the minors to face struggling Wade Miley and the visiting Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.
Fowler wasn't shy about his feelings in a radio interview Wednesday, one day after the last-place Padres (21-33) fell 16-4 to the Mariners for their eighth defeat in nine games. He was especially angry with James Shields, last year's prized free-agent acquisition, after he allowed 10 runs in just 2 2/3 innings.
''It's been embarrassing. I don't know how else to put it,'' Fowler said. ''We thought we'd be at least a .500 baseball team and we're anything but. I'd like to break through .400 and stay above .400 in terms of winning percentage. It's very frustrating.''
San Diego got the message loud and clear. Jon Jay went 4 for 6, Wil Myers and Adam Rosales homered, and Alexei Ramirez went deep twice in Wednesday's 14-6 victory that snapped a four-game skid.
Myers, Ramirez and Yangervis Solarte finished with three hits apiece for the Padres, who returned home for the last two of this four-game set after going 1-7 on their road trip.
Rea will try to keep the momentum going. San Diego skipped Rea's last turn in the rotation by sending him back to the minors as they try to limit his workload this season. He started for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday but pitched only the first inning.
Rea (3-2, 4.47 ERA) gave up three runs in five innings of a 9-5, 17-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 22 in his last start for the Padres.
"Colin has done a tremendous job for us, and really it was just in his best interest more than anything else," manager Andy Green told MLB's official website. "It was something we talked about from the beginning of the year, that there were going to be points in time when we give our young arms who weren't ready to go a full 200-plus innings."
The right-hander has never faced Seattle (30-22), which has dropped four of six. It matched the 14 hits it had in Tuesday's victory but went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 on Wednesday.
Kyle Seager went 4 for 5 and Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer in the first inning before the Padres responded with six in the bottom half. Miley will try to prove San Diego's offensive surge was just a fluke.
Miley (5-2, 4.95) is coming off back-to-back rough outings, though. He allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings against Cincinnati on May 22 before giving up five runs and walking four in just four-plus innings and getting a no-decision in Saturday's 6-5 loss to Minnesota.
The Twins also tagged Miley for three homers, the second time he's allowed that many this season.
"Just (didn't execute) at all. That's on me," Miley said. "I have to do a better job. I just didn't execute pitches early and put us behind the eight-ball a little bit."
The left-hander hasn't faced the Padres since 2014 but has a 2.25 ERA in his last six starts against them while not allowing a homer in the last five.